Yogyakarta – Scores of Papuan students held a demonstration at the Gadjah Mada University (UGM) traffic circle in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Tuesday afternoon, December 9.
The action took place to coincide with a visit by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo who was scheduled to give a public lecture before hundreds of UGM academics.
The students were protesting the armed clash between the Indonesian military and local residents who are alleged to have been members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in Paniai regency, Papua. The protesters unfurled two large banners with photographs of the victims that were killed in the clash.
The demonstration continued even though Widodo’s entourage left the campus at 3.45pm. The students also set fire to tyres resulting in black smoke billowing through the UGM traffic circle.
The action was closely guarded by hundreds of police officers. The police also closed off all access into the UGM campus through the northern entrance to the UGM traffic circle.
Scores of other police meanwhile surrounded the demonstrators who were blocking the road on the southern section of the traffic circle. At 4.30pm the demonstrators disbanded.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the report was Kunjungan Jokowi Disambut Demo Mahasiswa Papua.]