from westpapuamedia.info and sources
October 7, 2011
Indonesian police have detained ten West Papuan activists in Jayapura on Thursday ahead of a critical meeting for the pro-independence West Papua National Authority (WPNA), according to local sources.
As many as 1825 West Papuan independence activists had arrived in Jayapura aboard the KM Sinabung on October 6 to begin a consolidation conference of the WPNA. The Conference, to be held on October 8-9, was to determine the political position of WPNA ahead of the historic Third Papuan Peoples
‘ Congress, a gathering of all the elements of West Papua’s disparate resistance movement to agree on a common strategy towards fulfilling the demand for Papuan self-determination. The Congress, expected to go ahead from October 16-19 at Cenderawasih University
was called by the West Papua National Committee, and has gained support from most sectors of the Papuan civil society.
Despite the mass circulation of SMS messages, believed to be from intelligence sources, across Papua that Jakarta was not going to oppose the Congress and the ability for Papuan people to organise dialogue under their own terms, Jayapura police have detained key WPNA organisers for possessing “separatist materials”.
Marthen Manggaprouw, from the WPNA Secretariat in Jayapura, reports that Silas Ayemi, Seftinus Kaiway, Yoas Yawandare, Lewi Arampi, Noak Kandipi, Yehuda Kandipi, Daniel Sakwatorey, Obeth Aninam, Filep Yawandare, and Henok Dori were still detained at Police Station in Jayapura on Thursday night. Silas Ayemi reported that he was arrested because he kept an invitation letter for attending the West Papuan Congress, and also for being in possession of pictures of the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag
Jakarta has reportedly confirmed to Congress organisers that a member of the Indonesian government will be in attendance at the Congress. Local observers have questioned why the Indonesian police are still arresting people for legitimately and peacefully organising internal dialogue when Jakarta is apparently allowing the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress to take place.
International observers and foreign journalists are still banned by Jakarta from West Papua, so independent monitoring is proving difficult.
Herman Wainggai, an activist for WPNA currently based in Washington DC, said
“Indonesian Authorities arrested them without considering their basic human rights”. Wainggai also called on the the Indonesia government to immediately release the 10 detainees. Indonesia should, according to Wainggai, “allow us to have more democratic space during the West Papuan national meeting in October, rather than continuing to arrest people and damage their life while they work for democracy in West Papua”.
No comment was received from the Indonesian police at time of writing in Jayapura on the status of the detainees.