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Jakarta Post

1,000-plus Papuans arrested during self-determination rallies

  • Dandy Koswaraputra

    The Jakarta Post

Sentani, Papua   /   Wed, June 15, 2016   /  05:13 pm
1,000-plus Papuans arrested during self-determination rallies Papuans hold a self-determination rally on Wednesday in Sentani, Papua, demanding the government to conduct an independence referendum for the easternmost province. (KNPB/Exclusive)

More than 1,000 Papuan people have been detained in Jayapura police station after a self-determination rally on Wednesday demanding the Indonesian government hold a referendum for the easternmost province’s independence. 

“They are still in police custody,” Veronica Koman, an activist from the Jakarta Legal Institute, told The Jakarta Post, adding that the police and military have also arrested 31 Papuans in Malang, East Java.

A police officer from Jayapura police headquarters confirmed the arrests but refused to comment. 

“Yes they are under examination,” the officer said. 

Apart from Jayapura and Malang, protests also took place in Baliem, Fakfak, Sentani, Sorong, Timika and Yalimo. Furthermore, two local journalists were intimidated and prohibited from taking photographs. 

Demonstrators rejected the credibility of the human rights fact-finding team to Papua formed by Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan, but the minister still visited Papua today despite the protests, Veronica said. 

Papuans also showed their support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to be recognized as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. (dan)

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