Jakarta – On Tuesday December 1 police blocked protesters from the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) who had come from throughout Java and Bali to demonstrate at the Hotel Indonesia (HI) traffic circle in Central Jakarta.
AMP spokesperson Abby Douw said he regretted the police’s actions because they had already submitted a notification of the rally with the Jakarta Metro Jaya police.
“We sent the notification directly to the Metro Jaya regional police, we faxed it. The fax was ACC [accepted]”, said Abby at the Metro Jaya police headquarters on Tuesday.
Abby explained that there were around 500 members of the AMP who had come from throughout Java and Bali. They were blocked by police at the Hotel Indonesia between 9-9.30am.
This is despite the fact that according to Abby they did not bring Free West Papua (OPM) flags or act in an anarchic manner. The protesters only wanted to express their views that the Papua problem be resolved freely and that the Papuan people should determine it.
“Our main aim was simply to express our views, but we were criminalised, by which I mean I think the issues we [wanted to raise] caused the uproar, [because] we hadn’t started the action yet because it was to be at the HI traffic circle and before we [even] arrived at the traffic circle we were stopped”, he said.
The AMP was planning to raise four demands, namely that they be allowed the freedom to determine their own future as a democratic solution for the West Papuan people, the withdrawal of all organic and non-organic military (TNI/Polri) personnel from the land of Papua, an end to deployment of organic and non-organic military (TNI/Polri) personnel to Papua and the repeal of all political products such as special autonomy, special autonomy plus, the creation of new districts and the Special Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B), which are being applied in the land of Papua, and to allow the Papuan people to hold a referendum.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua: Kami Hanya Ingin Sampaikan Pendapat.]