Jayapura – An Islamic mass organisation (ormas) in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar has forcibly closed down a discussion organised by a solidarity group and Papuan students. The discussion, which was held on Thursday July 1 at the Dogiyai student dormitory in Skarda Empat, was on the proclamation of Papuan independence on July 1, 1971.
The incident began at around 5.05 pm when Indonesian Muslim Brigade (BMI) Chairperson Zulkifli suddenly barged into the room without taking his shoes off where the discussion was being held and attacked discussion participants.
He was followed by other BMI members who entered the room and dragged the seated participants out one by one.
One of the students participating in the discussion told Suara Papua that participants were assaulted by BMI members and members of the Pancasila Youth group.
"As of 5.15 local time the Papua student dormitory is still surrounded. Many police and intelligence officers also arrived. At around 5.30 pm ormas members were still at the location and constantly on the lookout for Papuan students to assault, meanwhile other ormas members shouted at the Papuan students with terms such as 'OPM [Free Papua Organisation] sympathisers, terrorists' and other insults", said the student.
A short time later at around 5.50 pm a plain clothed police officer could be seen interrogating Papuan students and members of the solidarity group.
As of 6 pm ormas members, police officers and TNI (Indonesian military) officers were sill at the location. The police arrived armed with tear gas and rifles.
"At 6.30 pm several plan clothed police were still at the location. Members of the local sectoral police also came to the location. Meanwhile comrade students are still trapped inside the dormitory and not allowed to leave, even members of the solidarity group have not been allowed leave the dormitory".
At 10.30 pm the members of the solidarity group were finally allowed to leave the dormitory but the Papuan students were still detained inside. No arrests by police were reported during the incident.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Ormas BMI Membubarkan Diskusi Proklamasi Papua di Makassar".]