Indonesian Police Reportedly Shoot Dead West Papuan 'Separatist Leader'

Raid on Maikel Merani's turned violent; after killing police allegedly harass, torture family members

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 30, 2017) – Indonesian police have shot dead a West Papuan man described by authorities as an armed separatist leader.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning in Papua Province's Yapen district, Maikel Merani was killed in an exchange of fire with local police.

Various Indonesian media reports said the gunfight stemmed from a police raid on Mr Merani's house which turned violent.

Mr Merani, whose body was taken to Serui hospital, was understood to have been a long-term entrant on the Indonesian police wanted list.

Indonesian authorities released pictures of Maikel Merani's corpse as well as arms and paraphernalia alleged to have been discovered in Mr Merani's house.

These included an assault rifle, various ammunitions, knives, wads of cash and the outlawed Papuan Morning Star Flag.

According to the Jakarta Globe, a witness to the raid said police harassed and tortured Mr Merani's family members.

Police then reportedly took a man believed to be Mr Merani's father in for interrogation.

Radio New Zealand International
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