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Police used a water cannon to disperse protesters during a peaceful rally held by the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) in Denpasar.

There were also alleged reports of physical assault against some participants, who were commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the Biak massacre. 

protesters in denpasar
(Image:LBH Bali)

Videos uploaded to Facebook by AMP caught the moments when the water cannon was deployed, as well as one participant who appears to have been detained by police. 

(Image:AMP)

One of the protesters in the video shouts “This is the attitude from the country which claims to be a democracy,”. 

Ni Kadek Vany Primaliraning, who heads the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) in Bali said that authorities blocked rally participants and disrupted the peaceful gathering. She also alleged that some participants were beaten and blasted with a water cannon.

“This is excessive, especially because authorities used violence,” Vany told Coconuts.  

(Image:AMP)

Dozens of people appeared to take part in the protest, which was organized to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Biak massacre, one of several long-standing human rights abuses in Papua.

(Image:AMP)

On July 6, 1998, Indonesian security forces launched an attack against demonstrators who took part in a peaceful rally days prior.

Eight people were reportedly killed that day while several others were injured, with another three people having gone missing and dozens more arbitrarily detained. Activists also say that around 150 people were tortured and 32 people died mysterious deaths. 

Protesters want the Indonesian state to claim responsibility over the Biak massacre, along with other human rights violations that have occurred in Papua.

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