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Free Papua Activists Arrested During Demonstration

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14 January 2014 11:38 WIB

A number of students wearing attributes symbol west papua do the remembrance independence West Papua at Surabaya on Monday (2/12). TEMPO/Fully Syafi

TEMPO.CO, Jayapura - As many as 30 Free Papua activists were arrested during a demonstration before the West Papua Provincial Legislative Council (DPRP) in Jayapura, Papua. They were requesting delegates of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to support Papua’s membership in the Asia-Pacific block.

The police clarified that the arrest was because the activists had no permits for demonstration. "We only require information. No detainment, beating, or intimidation," said Jayapura Chief of Police Senior Commissioner Alfred Papare.

On the other hand, one of the activists, Elias, protested the arrest and said, "We conducted a non-anarchist demonstration." He added that they chose the DPRP office so that the Council members can help facilitate dialogues with MSG delegates. "Before entering the building, the police intercepted. The police took our cameras and erased the photographs," he said.

In response to the arrest, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe suggested that his people not focus on past events and the alleged human rights violations. "I understand that the New Order gave rise to various human rights violations. However, the Reformation has given birth to [Papua’s] Special Autonomy. We endorse development in Papua with all its potential for the welfare of Papuans," said the governor.

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