Nationalist group clashes with Papuan protesters in Bali, several injured

Bali Express – April 2, 2023
Papuan protesters argue with Nusantara Garuda Patriots members – April 1, 2023 (Bali Express)

I Dewa Gede Rastana, Denpasar – A clash broke out between the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) Bali committee, which was intending to hold a demonstration articulating the issue of human rights, and the social organisation the Bali Nusantara Garuda Patriots (PGN) on Saturday April 1.

The incident, which occurred on Jalan Dr. Goris in the Balinese provincial capital of Denpasar, resulted in several people being injured.

According to information gathered by this newspaper, the AMP had called on the seven Papuan traditional communities that reside in Bali to take part in an action titled "Democracy and Human Rights are Dead, the Papuan People are Strangled".

The action had already been anticipated by the Denpasar municipal police (Polresta) and Denpasar police chief (Kapolresta) Senior Commissioner Bambang Yugo Pamungkas went into the field personally to lead security preparations at Sudirman Corner.

“The Kapolresta instructed officers to provide security for the action in a humanitarian manner by providing services to action participants as well as road users or the public. If acts of violence are encountered, then carry out law enforcement efforts and provide assistance to victims", said a source on Sunday April 1.

In addition to this, tactical vehicles were also on alert at the location of the demonstration.

Meanwhile before moving off to the location of the action on at the Jalan PB Sudirman intersection, the AMP gathered near the Udayana University Tourism Faculty.

But before they could move off to the location of the demonstration, they were blocked by members of the PGN at around 9.30 am. Negotiations took place between the two sides.

Tensions between the two groups however continued to rise until chaos broke out. A physical class was unavoidable with each side hitting each other with sticks and throwing stones.

"The hostile groups were involved in a brawl using wooden and bamboo sticks that began with them pushing and shoving each other, the brawl become even worse after both sides began indiscriminately throwing rocks at each other", explained the source.

As a result, the police on standby at the location immediacy moved into secure the clash. Consequently, the brawl did not last long and the protesters left the location of the incident.

As a result of the clash, there were injuries on both sides, with one person covered in blood due to a cut to their head after being hit by a rock.

"The injured from the PGN numbered around six people, while from the AMP there were dozens of people injured", the source added.

Moreover Pariyadi alias Gus Yadi, who heads up the Bali PGN, suffered a bone fracture. The injured were taken to the Prof Ngorah and Trijata public hospitals for medical assistance.

When sought for confirmation about the incident, Denpasar district police spokesperson Deputy Police Commissioner I Ketut Sukadi was unable to provide any information whatsoever.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Demo! Mahasiswa Papua Bentrok dengan Ormas, Banyak yang Terluka".]