Students rally for West Papuan independence in Bali
Ni Komang Erviani
The Jakarta Post
Around 30 students of the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) Bali held a rally on Wednesday to demand West Papuan independence.
They staged the demonstration at a location near the US Consular Agency office in Denpasar, Bali, as the police did not allow them to hold the rally in front of the office as initially planned.
AMP spokesman Wolker said the rally was held to commemorate the 48th year of the Papuan People’s Free Choice (Pepera) in 1969. “The Papuan People’s Free Choice was not democratic; [it was] full of terror, intimidation and manipulation. Severe human rights violations also occurred at that time,” Wolker said.
In a statement, AMP said that 175 out of 809,337 Papuans cast their vote in the Pepera in 1969 and that all of them had been "quarantined" before the voting day.
“Since then, [acts of] colonialism, imperialism and militarism have been committed by the Indonesian government,” it said in the statement.
The group’s activists held the rally at the US Consular Agency as they believe the US government interfered in the Pepera.
“Papua should get freedom,” they yelled during the rally.
They also demanded that the government shut down multinational companies' activities in Papua, such as those of Freeport, LNG Tangguh and Medco. Furthermore, they called for the release of Obby Kogoya, a Papuan student in Yogyakarta who was sentenced to one-year probation with four years' imprisonment if he reoffends during probation for resisting police arrest during a protest in Yogyakarta last year. (ebf)
United: Around 30 students of the Papua Student Alliance Bali hold a rally in Denpasar on Aug. 2. (JP/Ni Komang Erviani)
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