18 West Papuans Arrested at Rally
18 West Papuans arrested at rally in Jayapura on Monday
18 West Papuans were arrested on Monday the 20 October for taking part in a peacefully rally held in front of the local legislative council in Jayapura.
were calling for a review of the so called ‘act of free
choice” which took place in 1969 and according to a
Jakarta Post report,
"shouting support for the success of five members of a separatist movement who managed to draw international attention by meeting members of the British parliament".
The security forces blocked roads as hundreds of people poured into Jayapura to take part in the rally . The coordinator of the rally, Buchtar Tabuni, (one of those arrested ) said he had sought police permission for the rally. However, he was arrested along with
2. Victor F. Yeimo
3. Saul Bomai
4. Simion Dabi
5. Benny Gurik
6. Kantius Hisage
7. Namene Elopere
8. Arlius Tabuni
9. Erius Bahabol
10. Ela Mote
11. Nus Wetipo
12. Leo Loho
13. Kris Badi
14. Okto Januaring
15. Isai Sato
16. Edison Payage
17. Ros Wikom
Although they have been released it is also reported that another 4 elders are being detained by the police. Their names and the reasons for being arrested are still being confirmed.
The Indonesian Ambassador to PNG Bom Soejanto said last week said that “Indonesia needs the military cooperation of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand to preserve peace, security and stability in the region”.
Joe Collins of AWPA said that it is the actions of the Indonesian security forces in West Papua that will lead to the very instability that Australia in particular wants to avoid. Reports indicate that the Indonesian security forces (many not in uniform) are intimidating and harrassing the West Papuan people.
AWPA urges the Australian Government to call on the Indonesian Government to rein in their security forces in West Papua and to also call on the Indonesian Government to immediately release all West Papuan political prisoners as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people.