Hengky Yeimo, Jayapura – Scores of Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) members in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta held a spontaneous action in front of the Yogyakarta regional police headquarters on Friday August 16.
The action, which was held at 10.52 pm, was to give support to Papuan students who have been besieged inside the Papuan student dormitory on Jl Kamasan in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya.
In a pamphlet they called for end to the siege on the dormitory which began on Friday and an end to racist and discretionary acts against Papuan students.
They also expressed their support for activists from the People’s United Labour Movement (Gebrak) who were arrested by police during a demonstration in Jakarta on Friday.
One of the action participants, Jhon Gobay, said that the spontaneous action was a form of solidarity with the Papuan students in Surabaya who have been trapped inside the dormitory by police and ormas (social or mass organisations) since yesterday afternoon.
“We are very angry about the [stones] thrown [at the dormitory] by these reactionary ormas. Their behaviour is a form of intimidation against the Papuan students who are studying outside of Papua, particularly our friends who are studying in Surabaya”, he said.
Another participant, Raimond Mofu, said that the protest was to call on police to act professionally and protect the Papuan students in Surabaya.
“We are calling on the DIY Polda [Yogyakarta regional police] to convey to the East Java Polda to immediately withdraw all police from the Kamasan III Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya, including TNI [Indonesian military] personnel, police and public order agency officials”, said Mofu.
Mofu also said that the solidarity action was to condemn the silencing and arrest of labour activists at the Gebrak action in Jakarta.
AMP national executive board member Doli Iyowau said that the dormitory in Surabaya has been besieged by security personnel and ormas since Friday. The ormas have been shouting racist insults and threatening the students trapped inside.
“More security personnel are being added along with additional ormas who are making threats and shouting racist abuse such as monkeys, pigs, animals, dogs”, he said.
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Mahasiswa Papua di Yogyakarta gelar aksi solidaritas untuk asrama Papua di Surabaya”.]