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Jakarta Post

Papuan students demand referendum while dozens arrested on Sunday

  • Bambang Muryanto, Benny Mawel and Wahyoe Boediwardhana¬†

    The Jakarta Post

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Yogyakarta, Jayapura and Surabaya   /   Mon, December 2, 2019   /  01:42 pm
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Papuan students under the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) rally to commemorate Dec. 1, the day pro-independence activists declare as Papuan independence day, on Sunday in Yogyakarta. They demanded the government hold a referendum on Papuan self-determination and stop any human rights violations in Papua and West Papua.(JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Hundreds of Papuan students living in Java and Bali flocked to Yogyakarta on Sunday to rally in commemoration what some Papuans claim to be the Dec. 1 birth of the West Papua nation in 1961, demanding a referendum on self-determination. In some other areas, meanwhile, the police heightened security measures to prevent similar rallies from taking place, including in Papua where officers arrested dozens of people suspected of being affiliated to the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) prior to Sunday’s event. About 100 Papuan students and activists from various organizations, including the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesia People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP), joined the rally in Yogyakarta, during which they carried banners stating that, among other things, “West Papua needs freedom, not special autonomy”. “We also demand law e...