Jayapura, Jubi – Abepura Police Office Commissionaire Police M.W. Asmuruf confirmed that 14 student activists were arrested while doing fundraising for the establishment of an ad hoc team from the National Commission on Human Rights to investigate the shooting incident that killed four students in Paniai in December.
He said he was ordered to arrest the activists of the Independent Students Forum from the Papua police headquarters.
“We were just following the order,” he said on monday (22/6/2015). Further he said the arrest was made related to the permit from Abepura Police. “The students have submitted a letter of announcement to the police, but no approval yet. For that reason, they were arrested,” said the chief.
He said the police appealed the students through announcement and suggestion prior the arrest but they were ignored. The students kept doing the fundraising that caused their arrest.
“We conveyed the message from the Papua Police to the students that they are not allowed to conduct a rally in public without the police’s permit. They are allowed to do fundraising by submitting fundraising proposal instead of public protest. But they kept doing it. We used two police’s trucks to get them,” he said.
However, he said the arrest was for temporary. “They were detained for temporary, just to be questioned. They will release today,” he said.
Meanwhile, the human right activist Elias Petege said the police’s argue about the permit could be denied. The students have submitted the letter to the police in accordance to the law, said Petege a week before fundraising.
“If the police then questioned about the letter of fundraising activity, FIM actually has sent it on last Thursday. Three days before the event as according to the Regulation on Freedom of Expression,” he firmly said.
For whatever the reason, according to Petege, the police clearly banned the democracy space. The police no longer give any chance to Papuans to express their aspiration related to the human right violation.
“That arrest is part of the restricted space of expression for Papuan people,” he said.
The arrested students are: Melianus Duwitau, Temianus Kogoya, Fernando Ogetay, Alex Mujizau, Sakarias Yogi, Yuliten Kobepa, Alo Yeimo, Nauren Ikinia, Esau Yarinap, Agust Kadepa, Arnold Yarinap, Benyamin Yatipai, Felix Tenoye and Alexander Sedik. (Mawel Benny/rom)