Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan legislator Natan Pahabol said the police’s move to suppress free speech in Papua could not be justified.
He said restricting people from expressing their aspirations in public is a violation of rights and democracy. The arrest of protesters would not silence them and would only raise negative perceptions towards security forces, he said.
“Expressing aspirations is a human right in a democracy. Speeches and demonstrations are not the end of the struggle, but it is part of the process of democracy. Do not just arrest,” he told Jubi by phone on last week.
He criticize the Police who restrict and arrest thousands of West Papua National Committee activists who conducted a peace rally at several points in Jayapura Municipality on 2 May 2016 to support the ULMWP to be a full member of MSG.
“It wasn’t for security but contrary it made the Papuan issue to become more highlighted in the international community. The Papuan issue is not a new thing, it still existed until now,” he said.
Whatwever happened in Papua, he said, could not be covered any longer. The current technology made all information and incidents spread out to the world immediately. “It is a mistake to restrict a demonstration. As long as it is not anarchy and run smoothly in peaceful, let the people express their aspiration,” said the politician from Gerindra Party.
Separately, the Chairman of Papua Legislative Council Yunus Wonda said the Police must stop the arrest towards Papuans who express their aspiration, because he thought it is not the good solution.
“The Police must do a persuasive approach when secure the demonstration. The arrest would only become a tool to counterattack the government and Police with the issue on the restriction of democracy,” said Wonda. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)