Makassar – A demonstration by Papuan students commemorating 56 years of PT Freeport Indonesia in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar on April 7 was broken up by the Indonesian Muslim Brigade (BMI) and a biker gang as the protesters were marching towards the Mandala Monument.
Around 30 students from the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) initially took turns giving speeches in front of the Papua student dormitory on Jalan Lanto Daeng Pasewang.
They conveyed a number of demands aimed at the central government while they unfurled a banner with the message "Close PT Freeport Indonesia and all foreign companies in the land of Papua. Withdraw the military from the land of Papua. Papua is not an empty land. Stop land theft".
"Give [us] the right to self-determination as a democratic solution for the nation of West Papua", said action coordinator Miku on Friday.
The students also demanded that the revised Special Autonomy Law been revoked immediately and the cancellation of the recently created provinces of Southwest Papua, Central Papua, the Papua Highlands and South Papua.
"Then open up the widest possible access to both foreign as well as national journalists in West Papua. Withdraw all organic and non-organic military in West Papua", they demanded.
They also asked the Indonesian government to immediately and unconditionally release all West Papuan political prisoners.
"Close PT Freeport, BP, LNG Tangguh as well as reject the development of the Wabu Block and exploitation by PT Antam in the Bintang Highlands. Then arrest, try and imprison the human rights violating generals", said Miku.
After giving speeches, the demonstrators then moved off from the dormitory towards the Mandala or West Iran Liberation Monument on Jalan Jendral Sudirman under the close guard of police.
Half way through the march to the monument however, members of the BMI and a gang of bikers suddenly attacked the students using sticks.
Finding themselves under pressure by the BMI and biker gang, the Papuan students chose to disband and return to their dormitory. (mir/arh)
[Translated by James Balowski. The BMI was not identified in the original CNN article but cited in a reprint of the CNN report by Jejakfakta. The original title of the article was "Demo Mahasiswa Papua soal Freeport dan Militer Dibubarkan Paksa Ormas".]