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West Papua rally participants arrested for carrying OPM paraphernalia: Police

  • Safrin La Batu
    Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, December 1, 2016 | 05:41 pm
West Papua rally participants arrested for carrying OPM paraphernalia: Police West Papua rally participants aboard a police truck on Jl. Imam Bonjol, Central Jakarta on Thursday. Police arrested 10 protestors for possession of Free Papua Movement symbols. (JP/Safrin La Batu)

The Jakarta Police arrested several participants of a rally on Thursday because the demonstrators were alleged to be in possession of paraphernalia related to the Free Papua Movement (OPM).

Ten were arrested in the peaceful rally, including rally coordinator Surya Anta, on Jl. Imam Bonjol, Central Jakarta on Thursday.

“They were apprehended because they carried Bintang Kejora [the OPM’s emblem] paraphernalia. We confiscated them because they are not this nation’s emblem,” said Adj. Sr. Comr. Hendy F Kurniawan, head of violent crimes unit at the Jakarta Police.

Hendy said none of the people arrested were named suspects and they would be released very soon after questioning.

(Read also: Group supports referendum for West Papua)

Around 100 people, mostly university students, participated in the rally calling for self-determination for West Papua. They walked from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) on Jl. Diponegoro in Central Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, also in Central Jakarta.

The participants were, however, prevented from entering the traffic circle by security personnel who were stationed on Jl. Imam Bonjol to avoid disruption to the traffic.

A lawyer for the participants, Veronica Koman, said plainclothes policemen attacked some of the participants as they tried to penetrate the police’s blockade. (jun)

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