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Peaceful West Papuan rally in Bali targeted

Australian West Papua Association (AWPA) Statement - April 3, 2023

The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) in Bali City held a rally on April the first, calling on the Indonesian government to hold a referendum for self-determination for the Papuan people. The theme of the rally was, "Democracy and Human Rights Die, Papuan People Suffocate"

A spokesperson for the AMP said that there was a lack of freedom of expression in West Papua and the human rights situation was getting worse.

As the rally started it was blocked by members of the Indonesian organisation the Patriot Garuda Nusantara (PGN).

The AMP Action Coordinator, Herry Meaga said in a written press statement that a number of intelligence officers were also monitoring the situation.

The AMP spokesperson Herry Meaga said that they tried to negotiate with a number of the PGN coordinators but the situation deteriorated and clashes broke out between the two groups when the PGN crowd started to push the AMP group, and tried to seize a number of the AMP banners.

The PGN threw stones and bottles. There were injuries on both sides as the groups were involved in hitting each.

According to an article in the Bali Express, around six people from PGN were injured and over a dozen from the AMP.

The clash lasted a short time as the police who were on standby near the location broke up the demonstration.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, "yet again a simple peaceful rally by West Papuans was forced to be disbanded by police because of the attack on the demonstrators by an Indonesian nationalist group, and Jakarta wonders why West Papuans want their freedom".

Source: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2023/04/awpa-statement-peaceful-west-papuan.htm