Papuan students protest at US Consulate in Bali, call for closure of Freeport

Java Post – April 8, 2018
Police guard AMP rally at US Consulate in Denpasar - April 7, 2018 (Radar Bali)
Police guard AMP rally at US Consulate in Denpasar - April 7, 2018 (Radar Bali)

Denpasar – The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) has again spoken out against the PT Freeport Indonesia gold-and-copper mine in West Papua.

Yesterday afternoon they went to the US Consulate General on Jl. Hayam Wuruk in the Balinese provincial capital of Denpasar where AMP Bali spokesperson Gilo said that Freeport’s presence has been a disaster for West Papua.

According to Gilo, Freeport’s presence cannot be separated from cases of human rights violations and environmental damage. They also accused the Indonesian government of contributing to the disaster being suffered by the people of West Papua.

The AMP is therefore calling on PT Freeport to be closed down immediately. “Audit Freeport’s wealth and give severance pay to its [sacked] workers”, they shouted.

“Audit the mine’s reserves and environmental damage”, they explained. They also called in the government to withdraw all organic and non-organic Indonesian military (TNI) and police (Polri) from the land of West Papua.

“Stop the engineered conflict in Timika [where the mine is located”, they added. They also called on Freeport to rehabilitee the environmental damage caused by the mine.

Around 50 people joined the demonstration which attracted tight security from police in the vicinity of the US Consulate General.

Road access was closed off as a result of the student’s protest. Police erected razor wire and three vehicles – one of which was a water cannon – were on standby in anticipation of the action approaching the Consulate General.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua Geruduk Konjen AS, Desak Tutup Freeport Segera”.]