Unknown culprit put up posters threatening Papuan students in Ternate

Papuan students
An intimidation banner against Papuan students that was installed on one of the campuses in Ternate City, North Maluku, Wednesday (24/5/2023). The banner was removed on Wednesday night. - Doc. PRP Ternate

Jayapura, Jubi – A number of banners and posters containing intimidation against Papuan students were seen on several campuses in Ternate City, the capital of North Maluku Province. The posters and banners were installed in various public places but were removed on Wednesday night.

One of the Papuan students in Ternate, Ronaldo Kinho, said the banners and posters had been seen since Tuesday, May 23, 2023. “Some of the posters were put up last night, and some were taken down this morning. They put it on several campuses and in the city center,” Kinho said when contacted by Jubi on Wednesday.

Kinho stated that the posters and banners were posted at the Kie Raha College of Teacher Training and Education (STKIP), the North Maluku Muhammadiyah University Campus, and the Khairun Ternate State University Campus, among others.

The posters threaten Papuan students and student organizations who are considered treasonous for making an open statement of wanting a free Papua, even suggesting Papuan student activists to be expelled from universities and from Ternate.

A number of posters even mentioned the identities of Papuan students, including Ronal Kinho. “They incite the people of Ternate. They even put up posters with our pictures as if we were terrorists,” asked Kinho, who is also the Coordinator of the Papuan People’s Petition of the Ternate Joint Secretariat.

Kinho said such treatment had happened several times. He considers it an act of discrimination that continues to recur. According to him, similar intimidation has also befallen non-Papuans in Ternate who are in solidarity with the issue of fulfilling human rights for the Papuan people.

Spokesperson for the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua, Riduwan Lilpantara confirmed that there were posters and banners intimidating students from Papua and posted in several locations and campuses in Ternate City. He said the posters were still visible until Wednesday afternoon but were removed on Wednesday night.

Lilpantara said he had contacted the Head of Gambesi Village and the Vice Chancellor of Khairun State University regarding the banners. According to Lilpantara, neither the village nor the campus knew who put up the banner.

“We confirmed with the Vice Chancellor of Khairun State University and the Head of Gambesi Village that they did not know. The banner was put up without their knowledge,” said Lilpantara. (*)

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