Jakarta – Around 23 Cendrawasih University (Uncen) students at several different locations were arrested by police when they held a protest action on Tuesday July 14 opposing the extension of special autonomy in Papua.
"Based on the numbers as a whole, there were 23 students arrested at three different locations", said Papua Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Emmanuel Gobay when sought for confirmation on Tuesday.
Gobay said that the arrests were accompanied by repression by police resulting in five students being injured. The arrested students were taken directly to the Jayapura municipal police headquarters (Mapolresta).
The repressive actions against students occurred in the Lower Uncen area in Abepura where three students were injured. One other suffered violence at Upper Waena Uncen and a fourth near the Dok 9 area.
"The grounds for the mass detentions of students and youth were because they did not disband voluntarily when asked to disperse so the police secured them at the Jayapura Mapolresta", he explained.
Gobay said that the LBH has requested information from the Papua regional police over the arrests and were told that there were no legal violations other that those committed by the protesters. The arrests were made because the demonstrators did not voluntarily disperse when asked.
"Ten people were taken from Lower Uncen, 10 were taken from Upper Uncen and three people were taken from Dok 9", he asserted.
Papua regional police spokesperson Senior Commissioner Ahmad Musthofa Kamal has confirmed the arrests saying that the students are still at the Jayapura district police headquarters.
Kamal however was unable to provide details on the arrested students saying the arrests were because the students ignored a police directive.
"They had already been warned not to leave the campus (during the protest action). And they were not given a permit because Jayapura city is a [Covid-19] red zone", said Kamal. (mjo/wis)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Demo Tolak Otsus, 23 Mahasiswa Papua Ditangkap Aparat".]