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100s arrested as police and reactionary groups block protests against New York Agreement

Suara Papua - August 15, 2017

Bastian Tebai, Semarang – As many as 100 people were arrested by police when the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) held peaceful demonstrations in several cities across Java.

The actions were held to protest the New York Agreement which was signed in New York on August 15, 1962 between the Netherlands and Indonesia which gave the United Nations a mandate to supervise a referendum for Papuan in 1969.

Rally materials such as banners and posters were forcibly confiscated and protesters were beaten and kicked suffering injuries. The police also allowed reactionary social organisations (ormas) to take part in blocking the rallies organised by the AMP and FRI-WP.

Protest actions took place in several cities including the Central Java cities of Semarang and Yogyakarta, Jakarta, the West Java capital of Bandung and the East Java cities of Surabaya and Malang. As many as 100 people were arrested including journalists and human rights defenders from the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH).

In Semarang, as many as 47 people from the AMP, the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) and the Indonesian Cultural Society Union (SeBumi) held a demonstration on Jl. Pahlawan in front of the Diponegoro University in Simpang Lima.

According to Suara Papua's observations, the protesters were blocked by police behind which were social organisations who were on alert to back them up. Several of the groups carried paraphernalia with the red-and-white colours of the Indonesian national flag. Police had three trucks, three vehicles and Tactical Police Unit (Sabhara) on standby.

Police then tried to arrest action coordinator Januarius Adii, who was grabbed by his dreadlocks resulting in head injuries. One other person was injured in the scuffle that followed.

In all 47 people were arrested with police forcibly confiscating a banner with the group's demands along with 17 posters. Those arrested were taken to the Semarang municipal police office where Januarius Adii underwent six-hours of questioning until 4.30pm.

Those arrested in Semarang were: Jackson Gwijangge, Frans Yelemaken, Deva Yelemaken, Alfrida Kedeikoto, Mey Tebay, Theo Hisage, M. Kano (SeBumi), Saverius, Alex Duwitau, Bonni M, Yuli Gobay, Ney Sobolim, Deserius Dogomo, Lina Butu, Novela Wetipo, Danny Nawipa, Petu Tebai, Penthol (Indonesian People's United Resistance – PPRI), Elizabeth Magai, Yohanes Tigi, Januarius Tibakoto, Yohanes Dogomo, Markus Butu, Bastian Tebai (Suara Papua journalist), Ferry Tibakoto, Deky Pagawak, Gamson Alom, Aperinus Waker, Gasper Alom, Ontas Aud, Fincen Matuan, Dimes A, Nianus, Paulus Wuka, Ayon Widigipa, Stefanus Iyai, Tenus Tsenawatme, Zan Magai, Melianus Tabuni, Tamin Murib, Sigintak Wasiangge, Apoel Maloa (SeBumi), Frengky Yelipele, Bernardo Boma, Januarius Adi, Nicho (LBH) and Rizky (LBH).

In Yogyakarta, several ormas again allied themselves with the police who were on alert with two police vehicles, three police trucks, 10 trail bikes and a water cannon.

The protesters were surrounded as soon as the rally was about to begin with police and ormas members beating back demonstrators and forcibly confiscating rally materials such as banners and posters.

Twenty nine people were arrested: Rico Tude, Gabriel Hegemur, Semi Yobe, Aris Wanibo, Aris Yeimo, Andreas Yeimo (AMP), Abbi Douw, Zayur Bingga, Ferri Edowai, Elia Mote, Sael Makituma, Fabianus Pigome, Musa Pekei, Naomi Buyu, Adriana Yogi, Bertha Haluk, Marlen (Muhammadiyah Regional Leadership – PDM), Opik (PMD), Syarul (PMD), Fitri Lestari (Pembebasan), Deven (Pembebasan), Is (Pembebasan), Randi (Pembebasan), Taufan (Solidaritas), Ardan (Solidaritas), Riden (Solidaritas), Adli (Pembebasan), Erwin (solidaritas) and Napi. The 29 were released at 5.30pm.

In Jakarta, a clash broke out between protesters and members of reactionary social organisations. It was reported that four people were seriously injured including Adam (FRI-WP), Frans Nawipa, Jhon Gobay and Rudhi Amir (FRI-WP).

In all 24 protesters were arrested in Jakarta: Jhems Nawipa, Jhon Gobay, Erepul Sama, Alber Mungguar, Surya Anta, Siwa, Agus, Rais, Apax, Erna, Adam, Edi, Alex, Peyon, Andi, Rulans, Olen, Dean, Rudhi, Rahman, Sam, Smit, Rifai and Ucok Siagian (journalist).

In Malang, a joint rally by the AMP and FRI-WP was blocked by three social organisations, namely the Pancasila Youth (PP), the Communication Forum for Children of Retired Military and Police Officers (FKPPI) and the Nahdlatul Ulama's paramilitary youth wing Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser).

Police tried to appear impartial but according to a Malang AMP official contacted by Suara Papua, the actions of these groups were supported by police with the aim being to beat back the demonstrators and curb free speech. One person, Yesaya Ukago, suffering head injuries in the chaos.

In Bandung, a joint action by the AMP and FRI-WP was blocked by police and social organisations. Meanwhile in Surabaya, the AMP and FRI-WP held a press conference after the action was blockaded and it was impossible to continue with the rally.

In Ternate meanwhile, a solidarity action support the right to self-determination for the Papuan nation was also held today.

In a press release received by Suara Papua, the groups said that they reject the New York Agreement because firstly, it did not involve the Papuan people as the legal subjects and legitimate owners of Papua and because both the Netherlands and Indonesia were colonisers. Second, because the Papuan people were not involved, the agreement and its outcome are not binding upon the Papuan people. Based on this, both the Pepera [the so called 'Act of Free Choice'] and Indonesia's occupation of Papua is illegal.

The New York Agreement belittled the human dignity of the Papuan people and because of this the protesters are demanding to be given the right to self-determination as the only democratic solution for the people of Papua.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was 100 Orang Ditangkap dalam Aksi Tolak New York Agreement.]

Source: http://suarapapua.com/2017/08/15/100-orang-ditangkap-dalam-aksi-tolak-new-york-agreement/.

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