Jayapura, Jubi – The peaceful expression of Papuan students in Bali has again been repressed. On April 1, the Papuan Student Alliance of the Bali City Committee (AMP KK) who was going to take to the street was blocked by a mass organization. Protesters were thrown stones and several people injured.
This is not the first time this has happened to Papuan students in Bali, Bali Legal Aid Institute (LBH Bali) data says. The NGO recorded a number of incidents of obstructions and dispersal of protests, often with violence that resulted in casualties.
The student’s protest titled “Democracy and Human Rights Die, Papuan People Strangled” wanted to voice human rights violations and the deteriorating situation of democracy in Papua, as well as the New Autonomous Region policy that had made it easier to exploit natural resources in Papua, harming the Papuan people.
“The recurrence of similar events is a violation of human rights that is perpetuated, especially in the absence of law enforcement against perpetrators of violence. Protests are obstructed by mass organizations and law enforcement officials, which only worsen Indonesian democracy in the eyes of the public and the international community,” the student alliance said in a written statement received by Jubi on Monday, April 3, 2023.
Responding to the recent alleged human rights violations against Papuan students, AMP KK Bali and LBH Bali condemned the action and made four demands:
1. Urge the Bali government and police to carry out their obligations to protect the rally of Papuan students as a manifestation of freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution;
2. Law Enforcement Officials to carry out law enforcement against the perpetrators of violence against the peaceful student protest on April 1, 2023.
3. The Bali Police Chief conducts an evaluation and examination of his members involved in securing the AMP KK Bali rally on April 1, 2023 for alleged violations of police ethics and discipline related to the omission of violence and obstruction by a mass organization;
4. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to monitor the alleged repression and omission of violence by government officials related to the freedom of expression of Papuan students that continue to recur in Bali, and take steps to fulfill the rights to freedom of expression of Papuan students as guaranteed by the constitution. (*)