Protest against revision of Papuan Otsus Law in Jakarta, Jayapura and Kaimana – 84 protesters reportedly arrested

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Papuan students and solidarity groups launched peaceful protests against the revision of the Papuan Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law in the cities Jayapura, Papua Province, Kaimana (Papuan Barat Province) and Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. The protesters argued that the revisions were forced by the Indonesian parliament and the Government without considering the aspirations of the Papuan people. The police forcefully dispersed the protests and carried out mass arrests.

The Jayapura police forcefully dispersed a peaceful demonstration at the Cenderawasih University campus on 14 July 2021 (see photo, source: independent HRDs) and arrested 24 protesters (see table below). At least five protesters were injured by security forces as a result of excessive force during the arrest (see photo below, source: independent human rights defenders). The protest in Jakarta took place in front of the Indonesian Parliament building in the Senayan area in Jakarta while the Indonesian house of representative passed 19 revisions to the Papuan Special Autonomy Law No 21/2001 during a parliament debate on 15 July 2021. The police reportedly arrested 40 protesters. The protest in Kaimana on 15 July 2021 was also dispersed by police forces. According to information received from local human rights defenders, 20 protesters were arrested (see table on bottom). All three demonstrations were forcefully dispersed under the pretext of violating COVID-19 health protocols.

Dispersal of peaceful protest at the parliament building in Jakarta
Papuan students and solidarity groups from the Javanese cities Tangerang, Bandung, Bogor and Jakarta gathered on 15 July in front of the Indonesian parliament building. The protesters called upon the parliament members to immediately stop the debate. The police dispersed the protest although the organisers had aforehand informed the police about the demonstration. The organizers emphasized that all participants followed the COVID-19 health protocol. One of the officers allegedly insulted a Papuan protester calling him a monkey. Police members reportedly arrested 40 protesters and brought them to the police headquarters, where officers forced them to get vaccination shots during detention.

It could become common practice in various provinces across Indonesia that vaccinations will also be conducted by security force members. President Joko Widodo has recently given green light to a new COVID-19 response program which should help to boost the number of vaccinations in particularly affected areas. Members of the Indonesian Intelligence Agency (BIN) will be deployed to 19 provinces across Indonesia, including the Papua Province, to walk from door to door and offer vaccination shots.

Protest at Cenderawasih University campus in Jayapura
Fully armed police officers reportedly dispersed the peaceful demonstration in Jayapura, which was attended by several hundred protesters, mostly students. The police claim, they dispersed the protest with force after the students refused to stop the rally. 40 protesretrs were arrested. Five of them reportedly sustained injuries asa result of police violence during arrest (see table below). The Papuan Regional Police (Polda Papua) spokesperson, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, justified the crowd control operation with the growing number of COVID-19 infections in Jayapura. ”Jayapura is a COVID-19 red zone, we have warned the students not to hold rallies”, Kamal said.

Names of protesters arrested at the Cenderawasih University Campus, Jayapura

No

Name

additional information

1

Gerson Pigai

 

2

Yabet Degei

 

3

Maikel Pekey

 

4

Enggel You

 

5

Doni Pekey

 

6

Fredi Tekege

 

7

Olison Pakage

 

8

Jekson Addi

 

9

Harun Pigai

 

10

Martinus Keiya

 

11

Yulius Tekege

 

12

Abniel Doo

Beaten during arrest, sustained bleeding head injury and injuries on the fingers

13

Amandus Pokuai

Sustained bruises on the left hand after a police officer punched him

14

Leo Pekei

Punched to the head

15

Kristian Kobak

 

16

Venus Kabak

 

17

Melky Asso

 

18

Manu Iyaba

 

19

Oktovianus Gobai

 

20

Yarius Yando

 

21

Aminas Heluka

 

22

Edi Payage

 

23

Pililipus Robaha

 

24

Sandi Raweyai

 

Names of protesters arrested in Kaimana

No

Name

Age (years)

1

Anton Surbay

67

2

Arifin Tanggaraofa

52

3

Ruben Furay

52

4

Simon Egana

58

5

Barias Refideso

42

6

Lukas Wemaf

62

7

Briyan Kendy

27

8

Agus Doga

27

9

Daniel Thesia

30

10

Yohanis Furay

32

12

Malino Sefire

28

13

Candra Furima

27

14

Darsi Tiktikweria

26

15

Kristin Sisauta

27

16

Arlin Furay

27

17

Seli Isoga

35

18

Egen Mufara

21

19

Marius Safle

 

23

20

Fando Nyai

21

Photo of Papuan student, Abniel Doo

Uncen Demo OtsusII 8 edit