KontraS Condemns Police Acts against Protestors of New Papua Autonomy



Laila Afifa

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  • Illustration of demonstration or protest. TEMPO/Subekti

    Illustration of demonstration or protest. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaRights group, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), condemned the forced dispersal of people who rejected the new autonomous region in Papua during the rally on May 10, 2022.

    Kontras said actions such as forced dispersal, beatings, pursuits, shootings, and arbitrary arrests happened during the disbandment of protestors.

    “Violence and human rights violations occurred in various areas such as Abepura and Heram,” said Kontras Deputy Coordinator, Rivanlee Anandar, in a written statement, Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

    Rivan said the rejection of the new autonomous regions voiced by the Papuan people is a legitimate and constitutional expression as regulated in Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution. He said such violent acts further showed that the state was still discriminatory and prioritized a security approach in responding to the voices of the Papuan people, instead of using a humanitarian approach.

    The violence carried out by the officers, he added, was systematic because it was executed on the orders of the Papuan Police via a telegram. Rivan underlined that it was a form of excessive use of force. Besides, the actions resulted in injuries to 10 people who got beaten and shot by tear gas.

    “As shown in a number of circulating videos, the police seem so brutal in handling the rally by attacking demonstrators for no apparent reason,” the human rights activist said.

    Rivan mentioned that the Papuan people had rejected the new autonomous regions since 1999. However, the government continued to process law on the issue in 2003 and legalized it in 2021 while in fact, the objection stemmed from the bill formulation process that did not involve the native people of Papua.

    Read: KontraS Records 52 Cases of Unlawful Killing by Police in 2021