Arrests in Mantembu, Yapen ahead of major demonstrations

West Papua Media

January 16, 2013

Local human rights and independent media sources have reported that an Indonesian Army (TNI) unit has arrested seven non-violent activists in Serui on January 16, ahead of major planned demonstrations.

The raid on the heavily targeted village of Mantembu, on Yapen Island, was carried out at 0830 am local time by Kostrad Unit of Indonesian Army led by Corporal Gidion Karubaba, arrested the seven for allegedly “supporting Papuan independence”, according to local human rights sources.

The names of the arrestees are:
1. Yohan Ayum,
2. Lamkiur Ayum,
3.Penina Pangkurei,
4. Oki Warkawani,
5. Mambiwa Wandamani,
6. Simeon Ayum,
7. Isak Warkawani.

No information was received if those arrested were subjected to mistreatment during their arrest, however Mantembu has been long targeted with extreme brutality by Indonesian security forces seeking to quell pro-independence sentiment.  Regular raids and house burnings are arbitrary conducted, and the village has seen one of the highest rates of oppression of any single village in Papua.

The ex-political prisoner Yawan Wayeni, who was disembowelled, taunted and left to die whilst being filmed by Brimbob paramilitary police in Mantembu in 2009, has his death seen by the world on a Youtube video that galvanised awareness of the systemic brutality of the Indonesian occupation forces.

The arrests came the day before large demonstrations for Papuan basic rights were to be held on January 17 in Yapen and Manokwari, organised by activists from the Federated Republic of West Papua alternative government.

Westpapuamedia

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