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Amnesty International Indonesia Condemns Arrest of 14 Papua University Students

Translator

Ririe Ranggasari

Editor

Laila Afifa

10 August 2021 20:21 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Amnesty International Indonesia condemns the arrest of 14 students of Jayapura's Cendrawasih University, or Uncen, by the Papua Police.

In its press release, Amnesty International Indonesia said that the Jayapura City Police arrested them on Tuesday, August 10, after they staged a protest demanding the release of Victor Yeimo, an activist for the West Papua National Committee.

Victor Yeimo was arrested by the Nemangkawi Task Force on May 9 this year under charges of treason based on his speeches and activism during the 2019 anti-racism peace rally in Jayapura. Victor was accused of violating Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code on treason and conspiracy to commit treason, and is being held at the Mako Brimob Prison of the Papua Police.

Responding to the arrest of the 14 Cendrawasih University students, Amnesty International Indonesia deputy director Wirya Adiwena said that the students should be protected and facilitated—not arrested and treated like criminals.

"Like Victor, these Uncen students are only using their right to exercise freedom of expression, assembly and association, to peacefully speak their minds," said Wirya.

Wirya urged the Jayapura Police to release the students immediately, and respect their freedom of expression. Wirya also called for Victor Yeimo to be released because there was no credible evidence that he violated any internationally recognized law.

In its press release, Amnesty International Indonesia stated that it did not take any position on the political status of any province in Indonesia, including a call for independence. The right to freely express opinions in peaceful manners must be protected.

Read: KontraS Laments Use of Excessive Force by Authorities in Papua

SRIRAHMA



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