Bastian Tebai, Jayapura – This morning, on Monday September 3, 14 participants of a peaceful action organized by the Papuan People’s Democratic Movement (Garda Papua) were arrested by police.
Two were released after being held for three hours while 12 others were detained by police at the Jayapura municipal police (Polresta) office until 3.40pam then released after six hours.
The Garda Papua rally was calling on the Papuan Regional House of Representatives (DPRP) to act on three demands: the closure of the PT Freeport gold-and-copper mine, opposition to militarism in Papuan and calls to build a market for Papuan mama-mama (traditional Papuan women traders).
The protesters, who had planned to hold the action at the DPRP, were blocked by police as soon as they began to assemble. The 14 arrested were: Kanibal Lokbere, Geri Kabak, Yali Wamo, Maria Beanal, Tresya Magai, Freedom Isataplo, Anggrek Bagubau, Jhon Ciko, Zet En, Wille G, Riko Kobogau, Lanine Lani, Ferry Kobogau and Memo Hagisimijau.
They were arrested as they gathered for the protest at Expo, Lower Cenderawasih University and Marpati. In a written statement Garda Papua made eight demands.
First, calling on the DPRP to fight for and convey to the Papuan provincial and central government, specifically the president of the Republic of Indonesia, to close or halt Freeport’s mining activities throughout Papua.
Second, urging the DPRP to halt all extractive investment activities and plantations in the land of Papua which clearly harm the Papuan people both in material and non-material terms.
Third, urging the DPRP to show concern for and assist indigenous Papuan farmers, fisherpeople and hunters and gatherers and to protect them against attacks by capitalist investment which is increasingly impinging on their livelihoods.
Forth, urging the DPRP to respect the right to life in Papua and replace militaristic security policies with an approach that respects civil supremacy the values of human rights and democracy.
Fifth, urging the DPRP to reduce the number of TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police), halt their involvement in security service businesses and end the militarisation of civilians in Papua.
Sixth, urging the DPRP to support efforts by civil society and the victims of rights violations to uncover the facts and establish a human rights court to try cases of state violence in Papua.
Seventh, urging the DPRP to support indigenous Papuan traders by implementing programs to build special markets and to provide loans and skills improvement.
Eight, urging the DPRP to protect indigenous Papuan traders from the tentacles of capitalist trade which is becoming widespread in Papua and protect them from loan sharks and other things which marginalise and affect the activities of traders.
[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Demo Tutup Freeport, Bangun Pasar dan Tolak Militer, 14 Orang Ditangkap.]