Kanal Bali, Denpasar – Scores of Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) protesters from the AMP Bali City Committee (AMP KK Bali) were arrested by the Denpasar municipal police (Polresta) on Monday April 15 for holding an action during the cooling off period before the April 17 presidential and legislative elections.
The students were holding an action calling on the public to golput – to abstain from voting – and rejecting the 2019 presidential election (Pilpres). The action had only proceeded for a short time before police moved in and took them away in a waiting police truck.
"We also secured a banner with the message 'Reject the Pilpres 2019" and 'Golput'. This is what they were conveying", said Denpasar municipal police Chief Senior Commissioner Ruddi Setiawan at the Denpasar police headquarters on Monday April 15.
Setiawan explained that right now it is the cooling off period before the elections and claimed that police had already told the action coordinator not to hold the action. But the protesters still took to the streets and held the demonstration.
Setiawan also explained that police will conduct an investigation into what they were intending by holding the action.
"We know that the Balinese are a society that is full of tolerance, and want peace. By the holding of the action earlier, I saw that they did not want peace", he explained.
Setiawan also explained that the action did not have a police permit and the group had only provided a written notification of the protest.
"They didn't have a permit. Expressing a view in public must have a permit. But they only provided a letter (notification). We explained the situation to them but they still held it and pushed ahead [with the protest]", said Setiawan. (kanalbali/KAD)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aksi Tolak Pilpres, Mahasiswa Papua Diamankan di Polresta Denpasar".]