World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


West Papua Police 'Evacuate' Protesters After Clash

West Papua: Police 'Evacuate' Papuan Protesters After Clash with Vigilantes

By Muhammad Aminudin

Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 66 Arrested, 4 Beaten in Pro-Papua
Rallies Across Indonesia

MALANG, Indonesia (Detik News/Pacific Media Watch): A demonstration by the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) in Indonesia's East Java city of Malang ended in a clash with Pancasila Youth (PP) members who were offended by the protest.

READ MORE: Asia Pacific Report, quoting Free West Papua Campaign sources, reported 66 arrests.

The clash began when scores of AMP students were holding a demonstration demanding the right to self-determination for West Papua in front of the Malang City Hall on Tuesday December 19.

The demonstrators enlivened the action with banners and speeches.

In the middle of the demonstration a New Order group arrived and the situation became chaotic with police attempting to secure the action by trying to keep the two groups apart.

In order to prevent more chaos, police evacuated scores of students away from the location in trucks.

It is suspected that the incident occurred because the second group was offended by the banners brought by demonstrators which had symbols of the Free Papua independence group and displayed the banned Morning Star flag.

The group that arrived also believed that the AMP was being provocative and acting against the spirit of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

'A misunderstanding'

"There was another group that didn't agree with an independent Papua. There was a misunderstanding. We tried to explain to the demonstrators (the students) that much of public opposes their action. We explained this," Malang City district police operational division chief (Kabagops) Police Commander Dodot Dwianto told journalists after securing the action.

Dwianto also claimed that the evacuation of the students was in order to prevent anyone being hurt.

"We considered it from a security perspective, if there are victims then the police could be blamed. So we secured both of them, the Papuan students and the Ormas [mass organisation]", explained Dwianto.

Dwianto said that the police acted quickly in order to prevent a clash between the two groups.

The AMP protesters were taken to the Malang City district police offices in police patrol trucks while the other group was taken to the grounds of the Malang City Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).

The Papuan students were demanding the right to self-determination because they believed this was a democratic step for West Papua. They also called for all Indonesian military (TNI) and police to be withdrawn from West Papua.

"Perhaps there was a notification [of the protests] but the data was incomplete, the demonstrators brought banners that were deemed provocative by the other group. So we secured [the protesters], for the officers who handle permits we will see how the procedures were, whether they were correct," he said.

Editorial note from Indoleft:

Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth) was established by the army in October 1959, ostensibly to uphold the state ideology of Pancasila. During the anti-communist purge in 1965-66 the group took an active part in the slaughter of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and sympathisers.

Under the New Order dictatorship of former President Suharto the organisation became an association of notorious thugs and petty criminals who carried out dirty work on behalf of the regime.

The organisation still has close ties with various factions of the military and police and has been linked to criminal activities such as racketeering and extortion. In recent years has been involved in a number of violent turf wars with other vigilante groups and attacks on leftist groups and events that it deems to be "pro-communist" or "anti-Pancasila".

Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Demo Mahasiswa Papua Nyaris Bentrok dengan Kelompok Berseragam PP".

Bahasa Indonesian source:


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: Landmark G7 Agreement Pledges 870 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Half By End-2021

A senior UN official welcomed on Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic... More>>

OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Myanmar: ‘Mass Deaths’ Alert As 100,000 Flee Junta’s Heavy Weapons

In Myanmar, international action is needed urgently to prevent “mass deaths” there, after civilians fled attacks by so-called “junta bombs”, a top independent UN rights expert has warned... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together And Their Combined Social Impacts

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world... More>>

G7: No Major G7 Stock Index Aligned With Paris Climate Goals

New research by CDP and the United Nations Global Compact on behalf of the Science Based Targets initiative calls on the largest G7 companies to take ambitious climate action... More>>

Report: Universal Access To Sustainable Energy Will Remain Elusive Without Addressing Inequalities

During the last decade, a greater share of the global population gained access to electricity than ever before, but the number of people without electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa actually increased... More>>