Indonesia Arrests More Than 100 West Papua Activists In Sorong

West Papua National Committee members attended inauguration of local governing body

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 21, 2016) – More than 100 indigenous activists were arrested by Indonesian police at the weekend in the West Papua city of Sorong.

The police took in 106 activists from the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, for their involvement in an inauguration of its local governing body last week.

The KNPB is a pro-independence West Papuan political organisation with a wide following throughout Indonesia's Papua region.

The inauguration of the KNPB's Sorong governing structure included a mass worship celebration and drew Papuans from areas such as Tambrau, Ayamaru and South Sorong.

Tabloid Jubi quotes a KNPB Sorong spokesman Aud Augustine as saying Indonesian police, combined with Indonesian military, forcibly disbanded their peaceful event.

Mr Augustine said that in making the arrests, police breached the Papuans' basic democratic rights.

The KNPB is one of the organisations represented in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua which has been lobbying for greater international representation for Papuans since last year.

Widespread demonstrations across Papuan cities in support of the Liberation Movement during May and June resulted in mass arrests in some cases.

Indonesian police have warned they will not tolerate activities that promote separatism.

Radio New Zealand International
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