Detention of six students arrested at campus for free speech suspended


Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura City Police on Saturday, December 3. 2022, suspended the detention of six students of the Jayapura University of Science and Technology (USTJ) who were arrested after giving speeches at the USTJ Campus on November 10, 2022. This was stated by the Litigation Coordinator of the Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition, Emanuel Gobay in Jayapura City on Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

The students arrested were Rein Klafle (23), Davidson Wenda (19), Manase Wenda (23), Andrias Helembo (19), Theys Sembay (21) and Newius Maling (23). Gobay said the students were now subject to mandatory reporting to the Jayapura City Police Headquarters.

The six students were giving speeches to commemorate the assassination of Papuan Council Presidium leader Theys Hiyo Eluay. The police, however, dispersed the mass and later charged the six students with assaulting police officers who dispersed the mass.

Gobay said the suspension of detention was granted by the Jayapura Police chief after the Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition as the legal counsel of the six students submitted a request for the suspension as the students had to face an examination and write their theses.

“The request was also confirmed by the USTJ. The Jayapura City Police held a hearing with the USTJ rectorate, the USTJ Student Executive Board, the parents of the six students, and the Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition as legal counsel of the students. The meeting agreed to suspend the detention,” Gobay told Jubi.

Gobay said the six students must now periodically report to the Jayapura Police. If the students comply, there will be an opportunity for resolution with a restorative justice approach. (*)

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