Yermias Degei, Jayapura – Jayapura municipal police arrested two West Papuan students, Alfares Kapisa (25) and Yali Wenda (20) at a peaceful demonstration by the Papua Student Solidarity with Political Prisoners (SMPTN-Papua) in front of PT Gapura Angkasa at the Cenderawasih University (Uncen) in Waena, Jayapura, on Wednesday April 2.
The demonstration was organised by students from a number of tertiary education institutions in Jayapura to call for the release of the 76 West Papuan political prisoners incarcerated in jails in the Land of Papua.
Kapisa, a Uncen medical student and his colleague Wenda were arrested at around 10.30am when fully armed police broke up a demonstration in front of PT Gapura Angkasa. The two students were then taken to the Jayapura municipal police station for questioning.
“We’re currently at the municipal police. The two (Alfares Kapisa and Yali Wenda – Ed) are being interrogated. Alfares has been intimidated and suffered injuries to his left cheek. Likewise Yali Wenda suffered injuries to the head”, said Papuan human rights activist Elias Petege when speaking with Selangkah Magazine by phone.
The coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) Papua, Olga Helena Hamadi and Reverend Dora Balubun went to the municipal police station at around 6.30pm at the request of the two student’s colleagues. Their visit was in vain however as they have not been given permission to meet with the two.
In an SMS messages sent to Selangkah Magazine Hamadi said, “The unit head said they weren’t there. Then I phoned the municipal police, but they said they were being questioned so they can’t be seen yet. I was surprised, because the two are not in a jail, there’s a possibility the two students have been assaulted”.
“We were not given permission to meet with them, so we went home. Yet we came here at the request of their colleagues and the two student’s parents”, said Hamadi.
In related to the arrests and denial of access, Selangkah Magazine attempted to contact Papua regional police public relations officer Senior Commissioner Sulistyo Pudjo but his phone was not active. Selangkah also sent a text message seeking confirmation but there has been no response. As of going to print, Kapisa and Wenda are still being held by the Jayapura municipal police. (Yermias Degei/MS)
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]