Police ill-treat five participants after peaceful event on human rights at the Papuan student dormitory in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province

The ‘Makasar Peoples Alliance for Democracy’ has published a statement according to which four men were allegedly intercepted and ill-treated by members of the Makassar Municipality Police (POLRESTABES Makassar) after participating in a peaceful event related to the human rights situation in West Papua. The event took place on the 13 October 2018 at the Papuan student dormitory yard in Lanto Dg. Pasewang street, Makassar, South Sulawesi Province. The alliance reported that a dozen plain cloth officers entered the dormitory yard around 4.30 pm and removed banners and posters, stating that the students did not receive a permission for the event. At 7.00 pm, the students began to present self-composed poem and orations as well as music and comedy performances, while approximately 20 uniformed police officers closely monitored the event in front of the dormitory premises. Four police intelligence members followed the discussion and performances inside the dormitory. At 10.00 pm the police demanded to accelerate the event schedule alleging that public events were not allowed to take place after 10.00 pm. Thereupon, organizers closed the event at 10.05 pm.

After the event, members of the local police allegedly arbitrarily arrested and subsequently ill-treated three students and one activist who participated in the peaceful event.  A police officer pointed his gun between Amri’s chin and neck and forced him at gunpoint to open his jacket. The officer subsequently beat Amri on the head and seized his cellphone and bag before dragging him to the Police Patrol car. Police officers also forcibly dragged Wildan to the patrol car, while slapping him in the face. Fahri was arbitrarily arrested at the dormitory's parking lot. Police officers beat him on the head and forcibly dragged Fahri to the Police Patrol vehicle. Meanwhile, police officers arrested Imam inside the dormitory and dragged him to the patrol car. An officer punched him in the lower stomach. Imam felt a strong nauseousness as a result of the beating. The police failed to arrest a further participant named Atu as he was recording the unlawful police operation. Atu fell down as police officers attempted to drag him outside the dormitory. An officer kicked Atu as he was lying on the floor. Students prevented the police officers to drag Atu away from the dormitory premises. The arrested participants were temporarily detained inside a police patrol car. All arrested participants were released at 0.10 am.