On Tuesday (September 9, 2018), 81 participants in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) demonstration were questioned at Jayapura Regional Police Station in Doyo after conducting a demonstration that did not meet the lawful requirements. About 36 participants were arrested at the Jayapura University of Science and Technology campus while 45 other were arrested at the Sentani’s 7th post gathering point. AKBP Police Chief Victor Mackbon revealed that participants had been sent home on Tuesday afternoon.

“We just keep it safe. We just want to ask for information because their demo permission was rejected for it did not meet the requirements. We have asked for information and given explanations and they have also been sent home,” said Jayapura Police Chief, AKBP Victor Mackbon.

Inspector General Martuani Somin, Papua Regional Police Chief revealed that the person in charge of the demonstration did not make a report during the demonstration. “The ULMWP demo can run as long as there is a notice in accordance with Indonesian law. For demonstration, it needs the issuance of STTP (Surat Tanda Terima Pemberitahuan or Notification Receipt), which is the issuance of notifications about the submission of public opinion. The demonstration, of course, will be dissolved if there was no notification from the person in charge,” said Martuani.

The demo began with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) refusal against ULMWP aspiration. PIF General Secretary Meg Taylor confirmed that the West Papua decolonization agenda is not included in PIF agenda. According to her, PIF members see the progress of significant developments in Papua that can be used as examples for other Asian Pacific countries.

“ULMWP is not a member of PIF because the PIF membership is for sovereign countries, overseas territories, or official international organizations.” Meg Taylor said.

PIF refusal has caused the demonstration to occur in West Papua. The demonstration asked support for Republic of Vanuatu and the Pacific Coalition countries to bring West Papua issue to the ongoing Pacific Islands Forum Summit (September 1-9, 2018).


The ULMWP (United Liberation Movement for West Papua) is a West Papua liberation organization established in December 2014. The aim of this organization is to demand the right of self-determination for West Papua. ULMWP aggressively campaigns about Papua every year and attempts to enter regional and international forums abroad. Although they have always been rejected, ULMWP never gave up and continued to boast on behalf of representatives of the Papuans in international forums and intensely sold Papua issues for the benefit of the group.

Are demonstrations prohibited in Papua?

The demonstrators revealed that they were arrested without any negotiation process and forced into the car. Then is it true that demonstrations are banned in Papua?

Not only in Papua, in all parts of Indonesia, citizens cannot just carry out demonstrations. There are procedures that must be obeyed. Indonesia regulates the procedures for demonstration in Indonesia National Police Chief Regulation No. 9 of 2008 concerning the Implementation of Services, Safeguards and Handling of Cases for Submitting Public Opinions. In the regulation, the conditions for demonstration stated that the person in charge must notify the police at the latest 3×24 hours before the activity starts.

Inspector General Martuani added that his party did not obstruct the demonstration. The police are not authorized to refuse except in cases where laws are prohibited. The Indonesian police do not commit violence which prevents citizens’ right to express their opinions in public. If citizens violate legal provisions, of course, there will be legal sanctions in accordance with the provisions of the applicable laws and regulations.

Mutiara, DA. (September 28, 2018) Jangan Asal Demonstrasi, Kenali Dulu Tata Caranya Retrieved from wartakota.tribunnews .com: http://wartakota.tribunnews .com/2017/09/28/jangan-asal-demonstrasi-kenali-dulu-tata-caranya.
Anonim, (September 4, 2018) Unjuk Rasa Kemerdekaan West Papua, Polres Jayapura Tahan 45 Peserta Demo Retrieved from https://www.teras .id/news/pat-20/94268?posturl=unjuk-rasa-kemerdekaan-west-papua-polres-jayapura-tahan-45-peserta-demo
Anonim, (September 5, 2018) PIF: You are Not Welcome Here ULMWP Retrieved from http://westpapuaindonesia .com/pif-you-are-not-welcomed-here-ulmwp/

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