KNPB denies that violence occurred during its demonstrations

Bintang Papua, 1 April, 2012
The KNPB – National Committee for West Papua– has denied allegations that violence occurred during demonstrations which it organised  recently. In response to the decision by journalists to boycott activities organised by the KNPB which was recently announced, Mako Tabuni, the chairman of the national committee of the KNPB said at a press conference that the majority of journalists who operate in Jayapura are well known to the KNPB, and when people threw things at journalists, this occurred because the supporters of the KNPB were unable to  recognise who were genuine journalists and who were not journalists but were members of the security forces in civilian dress who were posing as journalists.’We deny allegations that every time we organise demonstration, violence occurs. The truth is that when things are thrown  and people are chased as happened on 20 March, these were members of the security forces wearing civilian clothing who were posing as journalists.’

Tabuni said that the KNPB would undertake to clarify any of the incidents that occurred during the demonstration which took place on 20 March.. ‘Ever since the KNPB has undertaken to promote the aspirations of the Papuan people, nothing has been done to harm national or local journalists, although some misunderstandings did occur.. Our activists and militants always do everything they can to protect journalists in all our activities, and we deeply regret what happened during our demonstration on 20 March.’

He referred to demonstrations which the KNPB organised on 2 May and 2 August 2011 when there were allegations that violence occurred and that someone at  demonstration had  stabbed a student.He denied that this had happened. He said that they had immediately gone to the  police in Jayapura to ask about this allegation , but were referred to the police in Abepura. However none of them had produced any proof that such incident had occurred,.They also went to the hospital in Abepura to ask whether anyone who had been stabbed was being treated there, but there was no one being treated.

He said that it was very regrettable  that such a report had appeared in the media  who should be independent and neutral, and should not report something without having proof that it happened.

He also said it was very unfortunate that reports in the media about the demonstrations organised by the KNPB on 20 March had been greatly exaggerated

Meanwhile it has been announced that the KNPB  will organise a Cultural Festival on 2 April on Taman Imbi, Jayapura.

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