Brawl between Papuan students and nationalist mass organisation in Malang - Police fails to protect Papuan students' freedom of assembly

The International Coalition for Papua has received credible information about the ill-treatment of West Papuan students in Malang, East Java. The case is emblematic for the continuing pattern of racial and political violence, discrimination and violations of the right to assembly and expression that indigenous Papuans face in Indonesia. The Papuan Student Alliance AMP reported that Papuan students organised a political discussion to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the West Papuan State proclamation on 1 July 1971. Around 7.30 pm, joint security personnel accompanied by intelligence officers entered the premises without showing a warrant and forced the participants to leave. A crowd of supporters from nationalist mass movements ill-treated and insulted the Papuan students, making racist comments. Some supporters entered and smashed the premises. Police officers witnessing the ill-treatments failed to protect the students from the mob attack. During the incident, at least seven Papuan students sustained injuries as a result of the ill-treatments.

On 30 June 2018, a group of Papuan Students shared an invitation via social media to watch a historic documentary about the proclamation of the West Papuan State on 1 July 1971. On 1 July 2018, 34 students gathered at a private house on a side road of MT. Haryono Street, which has been rented by members of the Paniai Student Association IPMAPAPARA as a secretariat. Around 4.00 pm, members of the police intelligence unit together with the head of the local residential area (Ketua RT) came to the IPMAPAPARA secretariat and told the students to cancel the gathering.

At 19.30, the Ketua RT together with a group of supporters of pro-nationalist mass movements again attempted to enter the house's front yard but were stopped at the entrance gate by two Papuan students: Yohanes Giyai and Felle Ima. After a ten-minute discussion with the students, joint security forces, mass nationalist supporters and intelligence members broke down the entrance gate and entered the property without showing a warrant. A group of pro-nationalist supporters repeatedly punched Yohanes and Felle while insulting and spitting at them. Police officers who witnessed the ill-treatment neither intervened nor protected Yohanes Giyai and Felle Ima during the mob attack.

Meanwhile, the joint security force members and the Ketua RT went inside the house, stopped the movie presentation and forced the students to leave. The students were pushed outside, while security force officers seized their bags, mobile phones and laptops and other electronic items inside the house (see table with seized belongings below). A group of nationalist supporters vandalized the house and broke the entrance door, house facilities and kitchen equipment. Around 8.00 pm, Yohanes Giyai and Yustus Yekusamon - both living in the house - tried to talk to the officers but security force members repeatedly punched them and forcefully dragged them outside.

Victim 2 Resized.resizedAround 9.00 pm all Papuan students were pushed back to the junction near Mt Haryono Road. Intelligence members and nationalist supporters attacked the Papuan students with bare hands, iron bars and stones during the attempt to drive the Papua students away from the IPMAPAPARA secretariat – at least four more students sustained injuries as a result of the attacks (see table with injured victims below). Moreover, some mass movements supporters shouted racist insults at the Papuan students. The physical and verbal assaults were again witnessed by several police officers who did not attempt to deescalate the situation or stop the ill-treatments. Around 10.00 pm, the Papuan students organised a spontaneous protest march to the Malang District Police Office, where the students met with local parliament members and the district police chief. During the meeting the Papuan students asked the police and military to stop any form of harassment or intimidation against Papuan students in Malang and respect democratic rights. Furthermore, the students demanded that all seized belongings should be returned to their owners.

Table with students who sustained injuroes during the incident

Nr

Name

Injury

Perpetrator

1

Yohanes Giyai

was spit at, dragged around, beaten with a water galon on the head, repeatedly punched in the face

Intelligence, mass movement

2

Timenius Gwijangge

repeatedly punched, beaten with a stone on the head resulting in a bleeding wound on the head (see intro image)

TNI, Police, mass movement

3

Maikel Takimai

punched on the left eye (see image on above, right)

mass movement

4

Yustus Yekusamon

repeatedly punched, sustained bruises and swellings on the left leg after being beaten and hit by a stone which was thrown at him

TNI, Police, mass movement

5

Ferry Takimai

dragged around and beaten twice with an iron bar on his helmet

mass movement

6

Musa Pekei

beaten twice with a blunt object on the head

mass movement

7

Felle Ima

dragged around, repeatedly beaten to the body and the head

mass movement

 

Table with seized belongings

Nr

Name

Seized belongings

1

Yustus

Oppo A37 mobile phone, one motorcycle

2

Timinus

Oppo A37 mobile phone, one bag with a bible inside

3

Tenion

one motorcycle

4

Lendi

One ASUS laptop

5

Isos

one motorcycle

6

Beni

Bag which contained books, an a wallet with ID card, student ID, debit card and

7

Musa

one motorcycle

8

Maikel

one motorcycle

9

Yohanes

one laptop

10

Yelle

one motorcycle, mobile phone charger

11

Maria

One Acer laptop, mobile phone charger, one bag

12

IPMAPAPARA (office assets)

books, kitchen equipment, television, one set of speakers, bedding