Papuan students in Bandung call for end to military violence on May Day

Source – May 1, 2015
Papua Student Alliance (AMP) hold rally in Bandung - February 2, 2015 (Tribune)
Papua Student Alliance (AMP) hold rally in Bandung - February 2, 2015 (Tribune)

Dwi Renjani, Bandung – Scores of people from the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) joined workers demonstrating in front of the governor’s office at the Gedung Sate building in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on Friday May 1.

The protesters demanded that the government disband the regional military commands (Kodam) and district military commands (Kodim) and withdraw all non-organic troops from West Papua. They also demanded an end to exploration activities in Papua and for the Papuan people to be given the right to self-determination.

“End the violence and exploration in our land. We want to be free and determine our own future”, said action coordinator Nas Karoba when speaking with Tempo at the Gedung Sate building on Friday May 1.

During the action they called on the government to end the crimes being committed by the Indonesian military. “In commemorating 53 years since the annexation of Papua, we ask that all of our demand be met. In December 2014, the Papuan people were shocked by the brutality of security forces that killed four Papuans [in Paniai]”, said one of the protesters Ferri.

In addition to giving speeches, the Papuan students also held a theatrical action depicting the inhuman behaviour of military personnel against their rights and freedoms. Police maintained watch throughout the rally.

It was not just workers and students that demonstrated in front of the Gedung Sate building. Scores of journalists from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) also conveyed their demands during the commemoration of International Labour Day, calling for welfare for journalists.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Curhat soal Nasib, Mahasiswa Papua Tebengi Aksi Buruh.]