Nabire, Jubi – Nabire customary leaders support the movement to reject the Special Autonomy police in Papua. The statement was declared by Ayub Wenda, Tribal Chief of Dani Damal Dougwa and Nayak, during the oration in front of Nabire Police Headquarters on Thursday (24/9/2020).
“Special Autonomy Phase I is dead. Therefore no more Special Autonomy policy. We support the aspiration to reject it (the continuation of special autonomy policy),” said Wenda.
People participated in the protest to reject the continuation of Special Autonomy policy in Papua. They came from Kalibobo, Karang Tumaritus, Siriwini and surrounding areas.
“What Papuan people got from the Special Autonomy? Intimidation, murder, violence and rape. Are these we (should) get? (Therefore), we reject the special autonomy and want a referendum (to determine Papuan sovereignty),” said the Protest Coordinator Aden Dimi in his oration.
On this occasion, the protesters declared eight demands, including to reject the implementation of Special Autonomy policy in any forms in Papua. They also refused the unilateral negotiation in deciding the future agendas for Papua.
Moreover, they urged the resume of Papuan people’s sovereignty for self-determination and supported the Petition of Papuan People 2017. Also, the mass declines the hearing of the Papuan People’s Assembly to pass the bill of special autonomy plus. As such, they threaten to conduct a mass strike if their demands are neglected by the government.
“We also ask the military to be withdrawn and stop the raid (against civilians) in Intan Jaya and the entire land of Papua. To people in Nabire, we appeal them to abstain (not voting) in the Regional Election 2020,” said Dimi.
The demonstration turned chaotic when the Police tried to block the rally and even arrested some protesters. According to the Police, they have never issued the permission for a mass rally involving thousands of people.
“The Police only allow 20 participants to represent the mass for presenting the petition. We refused it and wanted all people to attend and participate in this rally. After negotiating with the Police, they gave us a moment to read the petition,” said the spokesperson of PRP (Petisi Rakyat Papua) Nabire, Jefri Wenda.
The mass protesters were finally accepted by local Police, parliament members and the regional government who promised to review this aspiration.
“They had submitted the aspiration (petition) to us. We will forward it to the regional leader,” said the Regional Secretary of Nabire Daniel Maipon.
Police release the protesters
Earlier, the Police had reportedly arrested approximately hundred protest participants in some points of mass concentration. However, Nabire Departmental Police denied arresting the protesters involved in the demonstration to reject the special autonomy in Papua.
“We did not arrest them. After the petition reading, they dispersed and returned to their houses,” said the Deputy Chief of Nabire Police Samuel D Tatiratu.
However, Tatiratu admitted that the Police prohibited the mass gathering because they worried it would disturb the execution of nomination of Nabire regent candidates. Besides, mass deployment is considered to disrupt public facilities. Moreover, the crowd ignored the health protocol.
“Community would be disturbed. Economic activities could paralyse if we did not secure these young men (protesters). We only prohibited the activity, not arrested or detained them,” he explained.
Regarding the event, the Police wanted only twenty mass representatives to go to Nabire local parliament and regional government. But the mass refused this offer and instead went to the police headquarters to meet their arrested fellows. There, they gave oration and declared their demands.
“It is true that there was a shot (when dissolving the protest). It was only an alert because the crowd wanted to throw something towards the Police at Bukit Meriam,” added Tatiratu.
In the meantime, the PRP Meepago spokesperson Jefri Wenda said their protest was to resist the aspiration of Meepago and Saireri peoples. He regretted the Police’s act to disperse the crowd though they already acknowledged the Police about the event.
“The Police should protect instead of dispersing the event. We did not commit a crime nor break (public) facilities or do other forms of violence. It was a peace rally. Therefore, there is no reason for the Police to ban our rally,” said Wenda. (*)
Reporter: Titus Ruban
Editor: Pipit Maizier