UPDATE, Friday 10am:
The following is a phone interview with journalist Alex Rayfield.
“Ferry Marisan, the director of Elsham — a leading human rights organisation based in the capital, Jayapura — has said that six people are confirmed dead.
“We think that a couple of people were shot as the security forces raided the stage, and some later. There are also lots of people with gunshot wounds, some of whom are in hiding and too scared to get medical assistance.
“We’ve had multiple reports that there were 800 people in jail. Many of those have been released, but a core group is still detained, charged with a range of offences including treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.
“It’s important for people to know that [Congress] is not a radical fringe movement. It’s made up of mainstream Papuan society: academics, church leaders and senior tribal leaders. In fact the radical fringe stayed away from this event because they think it’s not radical enough. So if the Indonesian government thinks this is a minority view, they are sadly mistaken. It is a mainstream view.
“Meanwhile, we should add for Australian audiences, that the strike continues at the Freeport mine [which is part owned by Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto]. The two events are intimately connected.”
Listen to an interview with Ferry Marisan here.
more information as it becomes available.