Police disperse demonstrators in Manokwari

Manokwari (WEST PAPUA), August 2
Reports have surfaced from Manokwari that a demonstration organised by students from the University of Papua in Manokwari, together with West Papua National Authority and KNPB (West Papua National Committee) were dispersed by force by Indonesia paramilitary police.

No reports of injuries have been received, however, witnesses reported that banners were seized by fully armed DALMAS counter-terrorism police. The DALMAS anti-terror joint police/military unit, funded by the Australian government, is routinely deployed against peaceful protestors in West Papua.

One of the organisers of the rally, Markus Yenu, is still in hiding after receiving credible and sustained death threats from military intelligence figures. Organisers of the rallies in Manokwari are complaining that they are unable to peacefully express their legally guaranteed rights to free speech by the inappropriate deployment of Indonesian anti-terror police.

“People in Manokwari are questioning where are their right”s to free expression, when fully armed troops are stopping us from gathering peacefully”,said Markus Yenu, West Papua National Authority Governor in Manokwari, by telephone interview to West Papua Media Alerts.

Demonstrators have contented that August will be full of demonstrations calling for a return of special autonomy to Jakarta, and for internationally mediated dialogue on Papua’s future.

West Papua Media Alerts