Arrested for rallying people without permission

Bintang PPU, 4 July 2011

Jayapura: According to the police, the arrest of five activists who were attending the commemoration of 1 July, OPM Day, was because they had mobilised people but had done so without having the necessary permit.

”They were not praying at the time they were disbanded,’ said a police officer. ‘If they want to pray, they can go to any place but they don’t need to gather lots of people together nor do they need to unfurl banners,’ said police chief of Jayapura, AKBP Imam Sietiawan.

He said that the five activists, Marthen Goo, Herman Katmo, Bovit, Yulian and Sakarias Tamikai, had rallied people together without having the necessary permission to do so from the police.

‘When they saw this, my men arrested the five and took them to the police station, interrogated them for a while, and later that day, we sent them home.’ He said that a permit from the police is necessary if you want to rally people. He said that 20 or 30 people were holding up banners, although they said that they were only going to go to the grave of Theys Eluay to say prayers.

Asked about notification that had been given by the committee, he said that there was no notification about gathering together a lot of people in Abepura. ‘It would be okay in Sentani. If they want to carry out these activities, please go ahead and do so. But they shouldn’t all gather together and wave banners. That’s not right. That is what is not allowed,’ he said.

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