Major Democracy Mobilization In West Papua, Police Crackdown
Above photo: From Twitter @FreeWestPapua. The people of West Papua are demanding an internationally observed independence referendum.
Indon police begin another crackdown on KNPB activists ahead of May 31 mobilisations.
NOTE: West Papuans have lived under a brutal military occupation by Indonesia for more than 50 years. In West Papua, even holding the Morning Star Flag (their flag of independence) is grounds for arrest. There is a strict media black out on the situation there. This is why it is critical for people to spread the word about the brave West Papuans who continue the struggle for independence. Follow on Twitter at #LiveUpdatesPapua and donate to their live stream if you can. -Margaret Flowers
West Papua – Indonesian police have arrested scores of West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat) members around Papua on May 30, as Papuan civil society is gearing up for a day a mass mobilizations to sustain pressure brought on by the massive May 3 rallies, where Indonesian security forces beat hundreds of people and arrested close to 2300 people.
KNPB members across Papua were handing out pamphlets calling on West Papuan society to rally on May 31 for international mediation to allow West Papuans to exercise their universal human rights of Self-Determination, long denied by Indonesia.
The May 31 rally will also be demonstrating Papuan support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) bid for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which was due to meet in Port Moresby this week, but the meeting has been postponed.
In Jayapura, 24 KNPB members were arrested at 1250pm outside the office of Papua Province Governor Lukas Enembe, at Dock 2 Jayapura whilst handing out flyers. Together with the Chairman KNPB (Numbay Area), Mr. Calvin Wenda & the Chief Diplomatic Commissioner from KNPB’s Central Committee, Mr. Cobabe Waninbo, they were taken and held at Jayapura Police headquarters.
At time of writing, no response had occurred to WPM attempts to contact Jayapura police regarding charges or time of release.
According to KNPB sources, Police have alleged that the leaflets contain subversive material, and all gatherings of KNPB members are illegal as the organisation is forbidden from registration as a legal by a Jakarta mandate, despite the rights allegedly afforded to Papuan people under the long since abandoned “Special Autonomy” provisions, and guaranteed to all other Indonesian citizens.
Riot Police belonging to the Dalmas public order unit at 1420 swooped on the Yapis bus stop outside Abepura, and arrested all 34 KNPB Members handing out the allegedly subversive leaflets, confiscating them as well as personal possessions.
In Wamena, several KNPB activist were chased, arrested and beaten by Indonesian police for handing out the flyers outside the KNPB Baliem office, activists had just begun leafleting for the May 31 mobilisation when Brimob police swooped and captured 21 of the KNPB activists.
Their names are as follows:
- Warpo Sampari Wetipo
- Hasan Kogoya
- Marta Haluk
- Mardi Heluka
- Hery Kosay
- Firdaus Hilapok
- Paska Iyaba
- Marsel Marian,
- Melianus Kosay
- Hiron Hiluka
- Yufry Kogoya
- Pilemon Meaga
- Domy Meaga
- Manu Wuka
- Martinus Wamu
- Deminus Qantik
- Ardis Wilil
- Nuber Surabut
- Mely Wantik
- Asa Asso
- Yulius Towolom.
Earlier, Three KNPB activists – Darpinus Bayage, Ison Bahabol and Amiter Bahabol – were arrested for leafletting the same flyers at 1025am in Dekai town, Yahukimo, outside the local Bupati (Regent’s) office.
According to witnesses of the arrest, interviewed by a WPM stringer, the three KNPB activists were beaten as they were taken to the paddy wagon, and the witnesses reported that they believed the detainees were being “even more severely beaten once the got taken away in the vehicle.”
At time of writing, the three were still being detained at the Yakuhimo police station.
A KNPB source in Yahukimo, Marten Suhun, said “despite intimidation and torture happening in Yahukimo, but we KNPB will stay out on the streets (on May 31) according to the (KNPB) national agenda.”
Tweets from the mobilization:
— Ronny Kareni (@ronnykareni) May 31, 2016
— ——————– (@PurePapua) May 31, 2016