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wp 48 Papuan protesters arrested, one shot after police break up rally in Yahukimo

August 20, 2021

48 Papuan protesters arrested, one shot after police break up rally in


Suara Papua – August 16, 2021

Arnold Belau, Jayapura — The Yahukimo West Papua National Committee
(KNPB) says that police forcibly broke up a peaceful protest action on
Monday August 16 arresting scores of people and shooting one person in
the Dekai district of Yahukimo regency, Papua.

Field coordinator Ruben Wakla revealed that earlier at 8 am police
arrested 48 people although 44 of them were allowed to return home at 11

"Out of the 48 people who were arrested, 44 people were allowed to go
home while four are still being held by the Yahukimo district police.
Those still being held are Anton Hubusa, Lasarus Heluka, Afen Sambon and
Feredy Heluka", Wakla told Suara Papua from Yahukimo on Monday.

Wakla also reported that in addition to the arrest of the 48 people who
were taken to the Yahukimo district police, police also shot a youth who
has been rushed to the Yahukimo hospital for treatment.

"The victim who was shot by police is named Ferianus Asso (29). He is in
hospital and receiving treatment from medics", explained Wakla.

Aside from the demonstration in Yahukimo, protests were also held in
Jayapura city and in Malang and Surabaya in East Java.

The main demand of today’s demonstrations was urging the Indonesian
state to release Papua activist Victor Yeimo, opposing racism against
the Papuan people and rejecting the extension of Special Autonomy for

The action was organised by the Papua People’s Petition (PRP) which has
the support of hundreds of organisations and was signed by some 700,000
ordinary Papuans.

The PRP was formed with the aim of providing a vehicle for the Papuan
people to oppose Jakarta’s unilateral policy of extending special
autonomy for Papua and West Papua provinces.

Chronology of the Yahukimo action

Wakla explained the chronology of what happened in Yahukimo. Protesters
first gathered at two points in Pemukiman and the Ruko Kota Dekai
traffic intersection.

The militant KNPB activists had already gathered at 6 am and gave
speeches until 7.15 am while they waited for the other protesters to

Before security forces arrived at the gathering points, the KNPB media
team had taken photographs at the gathering points at 7.36 am and 7.50

TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police) arrived at the
gathering points at 8.09 am. They then took all of the participants —
some 48 people — to the district police headquarters (Polres).

Upon arriving at the district police headquarters each of the 48 were
examined and questioned.

"Noken [woven bags], bracelets, necklaces and mobile phones belonging to
the protesters were confiscated and are still being held by police. In
addition to this the police also detained four people. Forty-four others
meanwhile were released at 11.05 am. The confiscated belongings and four
people are still being held at the Yahukimo Polres", explained Wakla.

There is no democracy in Papua

KNPB spokesperson Ones Suhun, when contacted by Suara Papua from
Jayapura, confirmed that the protests were forcibly broken up, the
arrest of 48 people and the shooting of one person.

"There are four people who are still being detained. [Forty-four] have
already been allowed to go home. On the shooting that’s true. I myself
went to the hospital emergency ward and saw his condition. I saw that
his condition was critical. Perhaps the bullet is still lodged in his
body but the medics are currently trying to remove the bullet from the
victim’s body", explained Suhun from Yahukimo at 3.14 pm.

Suhun said that the peaceful demonstrations in Jayapura and Yahukimo had
the same goals, namely calling on the state to release KNPB
international spokesperson Victor Yeimo, to give the right to
self-determination to the West Papuan nation and opposing the extension
of special autonomy for Papua.

Suhun believes that the security forces are continuing to use of
repression against the Papuan people and this shows that Indonesia is
colonising Papua.

Moreover, he explained, Indonesia’s slogan as a democratic country is an
empty one without meaning. In practice Indonesia is not a democracy but
rather, the military holds full control, particularly in Papua.

"That Indonesia is a democratic country is not true. In Papua the face
of Indonesia is shown through the authorities towards the people of the
West Papua nation, which is as colonialists. Indonesia is carrying out
an occupation", he asserted.

Suhun continued saying that democratic values are not applied in Papua
and that the Papuan people together with the KNPB will continue to
educate Indonesia on how to apply true democracy.

"We consistently convey our aspirations through dignified means. We are
educating Indonesia on the way to apply true democracy", he asserted.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Bubarkan Demonstran, Aparat Tembak Satu Orang dan Tangkap 4 Orang di


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