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Police prevent peaceful protests against torture in Sentani - 77 activists arrested, at least two ill-treated

Human Rights Monitor - April 3, 2024

The Papuan Student and Peoples Front Against Militarism (FMRPAM) called for peaceful protests against the militarisation in West Papua in various areas across the Jayapura Regency and Jayapura City on 2 April 2024. FMRPAM called for the protests in response to a video of military members torturing an indigenous Papuan in the Puncak Regency in February 2024.

Police officers reportedly prevented activists from distributing leaflets for the demonstration, carried arbitrary arrests, and cracked down on the protesters using teargas and batons. The protesters, Mr Edison Tebay, 24, and Mr Yonas Magai, 24, sustained injuries after being hit by teargas grenades on the head in Waena, Jayapura City (see photos below, source: FMRPAM).

According to information received, police officers arrested fifteen FMRPAM activists in Sentani while distributing leaflets in Sentani, Jayapura Regency. They were released on the same day. On 2 April 2024, police officers arrested 62 protesters while gathering at the Sentani Road junction and temporarily detained than at Jayapura District Police Station (see photo on top, source: FMRPAM). Police officers reportedly beat protesters during the arrest. According to the protesters, the ill-treatment did not result in injuries (see tables below).

FMRPAM Representatives registered the peaceful assembly in accordance with Indonesian Law on 31 March 2024 (see photos below, source: FMRPAM). Despite following legal procedure, police officers forcefully dispersed the protests (see video below, source: FMRPAM). Jayapura Resort Police Chief (Kapolres), AKBP Fredickus W.A Maclarimboen, stated in an interview with media the local platform Jubi that the protesters disrupted traffic and disturbed public order.

Source: https://humanrightsmonitor.org/case/police-prevent-peaceful-protests-against-torture-in-sentani-77-activists-arrested-at-least-two-ill-treated