papuan students
Illustration of joint security forces conducted sweeping in Cenderawasih Univ dormitory on Dcember 19 2016 - Jubi/Zely Ariane

800 Papuan students homeless following student dorm evacuation: Lawyer


Jayapura, Jubi – Director of Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) Emanuel Gobay said the evacuation of the Cenderawasih University student dormitory on May 21, 2021 resulted in 800 students homeless and scattered, taking refuge in various places.


“There were around 400 students in the student dorm unit 1, 2, 3 and 400 in the Sakura dorm which consists of eight units. So around 800 students [evicted] in total. I got the data from the student dorm’s coordinator,” Gobay said on Saturday.


Gobay said that hundreds of the evicted students now lived in various places. Some of them opened a post, some stayed at their relatives’ homes, and the others crammed into their friend’s rooms in boarding houses.



“There are about 50 students living at the post. One of the [evicted] students reported 14 students stayed in his family’s house. Meanwhile, some students also reported four to seven students live in one rent room,” he said.


Gobay demanded the Cenderawasih University’s rector release the data of the affected students. “We want transparency about the student dorm’s evacuation,” he said.


He added that his party had collected the documents that could prove the students who lived at the dorm were active students. “They have IDs, student IDs, and letters confirming they are actively studying at the university,” he said.


Meanwhile, Ivonia Tetcuari of the university’s legal counsel denied there were 800 students evicted. Data from her party said only 81 students affected, comprising 56 students and 25 people who claimed to be freshmen who had yet to get their student IDs.


Tetcuari said that 81 students had been relocated to the building of the former university printing house since May 8. “These students are recorded in our data because they came to report and willing to be moved. The rest are those who insisted to stay in the dorm. If there are students who have not been registered, please contact our team to register,” she said


On May 21, as many as 800 security forces comprising the Indonesian Military (TNI), police, and the Papua Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) broke into the Cenderawasih University student dormitory in Jayapura City. The university rector, Apolo Safanpo, asked the Papua Police to deploy forces to clear the dorm alleged of housing many squatters as the university wanted to renovate and rearrange the facility.


Reporter: Theo Kelen

Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G

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