Chairman of KNPB arrested – many calls for his release

Bintang Papua, 7 June 2012The Chairman of the KNPB – National Committee for West PapuaBuchtar Tabuni  has been arrested. He was taken into custody while travelling by bus  in Abepura. Two others were arrested with him.

Deputy police chief, Brig-Gen Waterpauw  said that Tabuni had been arrested in connection with a number of recent incidents in Jayapura including the stabbing to death of a student. The police officer said: ‘A number of demonstrations have taken place which had called on others in the community to take part. These vents were anarchic and were in violation of the law.’ [Since when has it been against the law to demonstrate anywhere in Indonesia?]

Asked whether Tabuni’s arrest was connected with a number of unexplained shootings, the police officer said ‘These shootings are under investigation and we are trying to find out who it is who is behind them.’

He said there had been no addition to the number of troops in the area. The officer said that the  police were already aware of the features of the persons responsible  and added that they believe that four persons are involved in the shootings.

The chairman of Commision  A of the DPRP, the provincial legislative assembly, Ruban Magay, along with other members of the commission had been to the police headquarters to call for the unconditional release of Tabuni. A similar demand has been made by politicians from the  Partai Demokrat who said that Tabuni had visited the Commission at their invitation. The chairman said: ‘The continued detention of Bochtar Tabuni would only intensify the current problems in Papua which appear to be never-ending.

Just prior to his arrest, Tabuni had been seen chatting with members of the DPRP and with journalists.

Abridged in translation by TAPOL

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