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Police arrest 7 students for flying Morning Star flag at campus rally in Abepura

November 14, 2022

Police arrest 7 students for flying Morning Star flag at campus rally in


Tribune Papua – November 10, 2022

Aldi Bimantara, Jayapura — A protest action in which Morning Star
independence flags were flown by a group of students on the Jayapura
Science and Technology University (USTJ) campus in Abepura has ended
with seven students being arrested by the police.

Speaking by telephone with Tribune Papua on Thursday November 10, action
coordinator Kaitanus Ikinia confirmed the rally and subsequent arrests.

"The demonstration earlier on the USTJ campus involved seven students
and the agenda was still the same, rejecting the dialoged between
Jakarta and Papua initiated by the Komnas HAM [National Human Rights
Commission]", he said.

In his explanation, Ikinia said that the seven students who held the
action and were then arrested were Ernesto Matuan, Devio B Tekege,
Ambrosius Elopere, Eko Ukago, Nobertus Dogopia, Matius Mabel and Andy

In addition to this, Ikinia said that the action was part of the
commemoration of 22 years since the death of Papua independence figure
Theys Hiyo Eluay.

"The protesters were giving speeches on campus conveying their
aspirations and the police entered the USTJ campus grounds where the
demonstration was and without any coordination, straight away forcibly
broke it up", he explained.

Ikinia admitted that it was indeed true that there were students who
brought two Morning Star flags to the demonstration.

"The students who took part in the demonstration at the USTJ campus were
more than seven people, but as soon as the police arrived the others ran
out because they were chased, until there was a sound of teargas being
fired", he explained.

Ikinia added that as a result of the arrests it has instead increased
tension on the USTJ campus.

Meanwhile during the peaceful demonstration the students made five
demands which had to be implemented and followed up on.

First, they asked for an acknowledgment from all parties to commemorate
November 10 as a national Papuan hero’s day.

Second, they oppose the state forcing the Papuan people to accept new
autonomous regions (DOB) and the creating of three new provinces in
Papua which were claimed unilaterally and only supported by certain
rogue Papuan figures.

Third, they explicitly reject efforts by the state through Komnas HAM to
conduct a dialogue because it is truly impossible for perpetrators to
try perpetrators.

Specifically in the third point, they said that it is impossible for the
dialogue to be fare because Papua is not a national but an international
issue, so a resolution must be implemented through international

Fourth, they explicitly reject the involvement of rogue Papuan figures
in the Indonesian initiated dialogue through Komnas HAM.

Fifth, they called on the state and the United Nations to officially
acknowledge the need for self-determination for West Papua.

As of this article being published, Ikinia said that the arrested
students were still being questioned at the Abepura sectoral police
offices. (*)


West Papuan pro-independence leader Theys Hiyo Eluay was found dead in
his car in November 2001 after attending a party thrown by the
Indonesian Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus). Seven Kopassus soldiers
were subsequently tried and found guilty of his murder and sentenced to
short prison terms.

Recent efforts by the government’s National Human Rights Commission
(Komnas HAM) to hold a dialogue with the Free Papua Movement (OPM) have
been criticised for allegedly involving Papuan rebel groups cultivated
by the TNI (Indonesian military). The effort has also been seen by many
as a cynical attempt to counter mounting international criticism over
ongoing rights abuses in Papua.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Polisi Amankan Mahasiswa Kibarkan Bendera Bintang Kejora saat Demo di
Kampus USTJ Jayapura".]


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