On 29 April 2021, the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Prof. Mahfud MD, announced during a press conference that from now on, the armed separatist groups in West Papua will be categorised as terrorists. A few days after the Government move, Papuan students in Bali said they found at least ten posters near student dormitories and universities in Bali’s main city Denpasar, stigmatising the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) as a terrorist group. Papuan students understand the campaign as an act of intimidation against them.
According to AMP activists in Bali, the posters were attached in front of the universities Udayana, STIKOM Bali, STIKI Bali, Warmadewa and Undiknas, and various public places in Denpasar. They also found more posters near three different Papuan student dormitories in Denpasar. One poster shows the AMP logo next to an image with armed fighters of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) and the lettering ‘terrorist’. Others show a group of protesters holding banners with the slogan ‘Destroy the Papuan Armed Criminal Groups and the AMP’ (see photo, source: Suara Papua). “The AMP is a student organisation, voicing the aspirations against injustice, misery, oppression, occupation and killings in West Papua – we are no terrorists”, stressed the chairman of the AMP in Bali.
Previously, the Governor of Papua Province issued a public statement asking the central government to reassess its decision, warning that the terrorist label may have psycho-social consequences and add to the stigmatisation of ethnic Papuans living in other islands of Indonesia.