Sigiranus Marutho Bere, Kupang – Papuan students from the Human Rights and Democracy Forum Alliance (Formasi) held a protest action in front of the Kupang Widya Mandira Catholic University campus in the Old City sub-district of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), on Thursday December 1.
The scores of students, who represented an alliance of the Kupang City Papua Student Alliance (AMP), the NTT Papua Student Communication Forum (Fokmap) and the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP), held the protest action to articulate human rights and democratic issues in Papua.
During the action, the students brought banners with their demands on them. These ranged from the issue of human rights and democracy in Papua, opposing the planned Wae Sano geothermal project in NTT and opposing the ticket price hike and business monopolies at the NTT Komodo National Part, as well as rejecting the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP).
The protest action however was broken up by a social organisation (ormas) called the Garda Flobamora XXX. Police, who were guarding the action, then transported the students to the Kelapa Lima Sectoral Police (Polsek) headquarters for security reasons.
"Correct, our officers secured them (the Papuan students) at the Kelapa Lima Polsek", NTT regional police public relations chief Senior Commissioner Ariasandy told Kompas.com on Thursday December 1.
After this, the Papuan students were taken to the Kupang City district police headquarters for the sake of security. The Kupang City police then took the step of trying to resolve the dispute between the ormas and the Papuan students.
The police appealed to the two sides not to commit illegal acts which could influence the stability, security and social order in Kupang City.
"Kupang City district police officers then took the students home to the Oesapa village, Kelapa Lima sub-district, using a bus belonging to the Kupang City municipal police", said Ariasandy.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aksi Unjuk Rasa Mahasiswa Papua di Kupang Dibubarkan Ormas".]