Police guards protest by Papuan People’s Petition in Jayapura

The Papuan Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) is on guard in front of the Mimika Student Dormitory, Jalan SPG Waena - Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura City Police deployed its forces this morning to a number of locations where the Papuan People’s Petition (PRP) mass protested on Friday, June 3, 2022, claiming to secure the action.

The PRP previously announced their plan to take to the streets to reject the new Papua Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law, the government’s plan to build a new autonomous region (DOB) in Papua, and support Papua’s referendum.

Early at 7 a.m. local time, the police were already on guard at Abepura, in front of Mimika Dormitory, Expo Waena, Perumnas III, and Abe Campus of Cenderawasih University.

No people showed up at Expo Waena until 7:35 a.m. Meanwhile, at Perumnas III, the mass was already giving speeches at 7 a.m.

Spokesperson for the Papuan People’s Petition (PRP) Jefri Wenda said his party would continue to express the people’s aspiration of refusing Otsus and the new autonomous regions, and their wish to hold a referendum in Papua.

“We will take to the streets and the security forces cannot be repressive towards the protesters. Because we just want to convey our aspirations to the legislative council. The police should be supporting the action,” he said.

On Thursday, Jayapura City Police chief Victor Mackbon said he had ordered thousands of police and Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel to prevent chaos from happening during the protest. The police, Mackbon said, did not want what happened at the end of August 2019 to occur again in Jayapura City. At that time, the antiracism protest in the capital city of Papua Province ended in chaos.

According to him, the police will not prohibit demonstrations as long as they comply with the rules and stay peaceful. Protesters are also not allowed to do a long march to the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP).

“We have established communication with the person in charge. If they can meet the requirements according to the law, go on. But if not, we’re sorry to take several actions. If their purpose is telling their aspirations, we will gladly help by providing them with vehicles to go to the DPRP. We do not prohibit telling aspiration but suggest another method, not on a long march,” said Victor Mackbon on June 2. (*)

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