Witness describes police violence, racist slurs during arrest of Papua students

CNN Indonesia – December 4, 2019
Pretrial hearing at South Jakarta District Court – December 4, 2019 (Suara)
Pretrial hearing at South Jakarta District Court – December 4, 2019 (Suara)

Jakarta – A Papuan activists has testified that the police acted violently and made racist remarks during a raid on a Papuan student dormitory in Jakarta. This was revealed by Naliana Gwijangge during a pretrial hearing in a case of alleged treason against six students and Papuan activists.

Gwijangge said that she personally suffered this treatment when police were carrying out the arrests at a Papua student dormitory in the Tebet area of South Jakarta.

“A polwan [female police officer] at the front gate said ‘They’re all orangutans’, but from there I didn’t know they wore uniforms. I got up slowly”, said Gwijangge during her testimony at the South Jakarta District Court on Wednesday December 4.

She related that initially she was at a minimarket near the dormitory along with Norince Kogoya and Arina Lokbere, one of the six suspects charged with treason.

Gwijangge said that they were arrested in front of the minimarket. Because she was afraid, she decided to run towards the dormitory while her two companions were arrested by the police.

Gwijangge claimed that she did not know the reason for the arrests. When she arrived at the dormitory, police attempted to take her to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters in a car.

At the time she was only wearing a singlet and asked to be able to change her cloths first, but she was not given the opportunity to do this because the police then dragged her into the car.

“I wanted to change my cloths, but was ordered to get into [the car]”, she testified. “So when I was pulled out, I was still struggling”, she added.

The allegations of makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) were made following a rally in front of the State Palace on August 28 in which the Morning Star independence flag was flown.

Police then arrested six people one after the other on August 30 and 31. They were then declared suspects on charges of makar. (mjo/eks)


According to a report by Kompas.com on the same day, Gwijangge also testified that police make racist remarks inside the dormitory as she was pleading with them to change her cloths.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Sidang Dugaaan Makar, Saksi Sebut Dikatai Orang Hutan”.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20191205031613-12-454278/sidang-dugaaan-makar-saksi-sebut-dikatai-orang-hutan