West Papua Police Nab 36 after Demonstration

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Hundreds of Papuans under the Alliance of Anti-racism, Capitalism, Colonialism and Militarism College Students march in a solidarity action for West Papua from the Army headquarters to the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, August 22, 2019. The protesters demand the government give them the rights to determine their own fate to quell racism and colonialism in West Papua.  TEMPO/Subekti

    Hundreds of Papuans under the Alliance of Anti-racism, Capitalism, Colonialism and Militarism College Students march in a solidarity action for West Papua from the Army headquarters to the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, August 22, 2019. The protesters demand the government give them the rights to determine their own fate to quell racism and colonialism in West Papua. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe West Papua Police arrested 36 people in Manokwari and Sorong City after a demonstration to commemorate the West Papua New Guinea National Congress (WPNGNC) anniversary, or the Free Papua Movement rally.

    West Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Adam Erwindi said dozens of people who called for or joined the street protest were being questioned.

    “The Manokwari Resort Police, backed up by the West Papua Police Mobile Brigade, have taken steps to secure and collect statements [from those arrested],” Erwindi said on Friday, November 27, 2020.

    According to him, the demonstration was carried out without prior notification to the police, so the police had the authority to disperse the action. 

    Additionally, the rally disrupted public order and blocked the street, thus preventing others from using it. “The subject of the demonstration also violates Article 6 of Law No. 9 of 1998,” said Erwindi.

    As quoted from Antara, four police officers and one journalist were injured during the demonstration in Sorong City as it turned chaotic. The chaos began after hundreds of people hoisting the Morning Star or the Bintang Kejora flag, the symbol of the Free Papua Movement, were dispersed by the police.

    Read: Major Security Patrol Ahead of Free Papua Movement Anniversary

    ANDITA RAHMA | ANTARA