W. Papuan Leaders Released After Int'l Pressure
For Immediate Broadcast
Wednesday March 5 1830 Aest
Jayapura, West Papua, March 5, 2008
Stop Press: West Papuan Leaders Released From Prison After International Pressure; Vow Demonstrations Until Indonesia Listens To West Papuans
WEST PAPUAN leaders calling for a Referendum on the future of West Papua who were arrested by Indonesian Police for "spreading hatred against the government", have been released without charge from Police Regional Headquarters this afternoon.
During protests on Monday, March 3, which were called to draw attention to the failure of Special Autonomy and calling for a referendum, Indonesian Mobile Brigade police (BRIMOB) arrested 70 peaceful demonstrators, inflicting beatings and torture on the West Papuan people. Edison Waromi, leader of West Papua National Authority, and Marthen Manggaprow attended Abepura prison Monday evening to negotiate release and charges. They were subsequently arrested, and Tuesday morning they were transferred with other detainees to Jayapura POLRES (HQ) for charging. 67 detainees were released the same evening, but have been presented with summonses.
Edison Waromi, Domingus Arrongear, Marthen Manggaprow and Frangky Inekep have all been released from POLRES Jayapura, with all charges dropped. POLRES have indicated that they had to release the three leaders upon orders from Jakarta and in the Indonesian Embassy in Australia, and from international media pressure. POLRES sources had indicated previously that the three were to be charged for violating Law no. 155 (espousing, or showing articles, picture or actions with the Intent to cause hatred to toward the Indonesian government).
However, one West Papuan community leader is still in custody in Manokwari, Frans Kareth, who is Lecturer of Faculty of Law in Manokwari. Reverend Terrianus Joku, Head of Congress Executive President of WPNA is in Manokwari negotiating with Police for the release of Mr Kareth. Media assistance is appreciated.
*Sorong - *Currently in Sorong the situation is: 800 people rally outside at DPR-D (People's Representative Council) demanding referendum. Michael Mandobayan head of FMNPP (Papua National Youth and Student Front - Head for Sorong Regency) can be called for confirmation only on +62 852 505 17800
*PROTESTS and Flagraisings AGAIN* *will be held in Abepura Tomorrow (Thursday March 6). All detainees have indicated they are ready TO GO BACK TO GAOL.*
*/Media Considerations: New Contact Numbers For Tomorrows Protest Are Being Collected, As Indonesian Inteligence Have Confiscated The Old Ones. This will be provided before 0800 AEST. Photographs and Video are still trying to be sent, please be patient; people with footage are being hunted by intelligence and are taking countermeasures. MORE INFO AS IT COMES TO HAND./*
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