West Papua Media
May 13, 2013
UPDATED WITH PHOTOS 8.15 wp time
Indonesian police in Jayapura have this morning violently dispersed a pro-independence rally being held by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), arresting its leader Victor Yeimo, media worker Marthen Manggaprouw and two KNPB activists, according to early reports.
The rally was being held to commemorate the shootings and violent crackdown by Indonesian security forces on peaceful demonstrations across Papua on May 1, which left four people dead and drew international condemnation up to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay.
Reports from witnesses at the scene have confirmed that police conducted several rounds of baton charges against rally participants who arrived on motorbikes, and then joined by over 1000 other participants who continued to resist the police charges outside the gates of Cenderawasih University in Abepura. Injuries have been reported by but no particulars are yet available. More arrests are expected according to witnesses.
Jayapura police chief Alfred Papare ordered the arrests of Yeimo, Manggaprouw, Yongky Ulimpa (23), Ely Kobak (17) after intense negotiations from 9am local time between police and the activists to allow the rally failed. In this time, thousand’s of frontline Papuan civilians and activists had gathered ready to march from Lingkaran Abepura (outside the Post office) near the National Housing Complex 3 (the site of late KNPB Chairman Mako Tabuni’s assassination by Australian-trained Detachment 88 officers) to the People’s Assembly Council (MRP) office.
At 1050am local time, the mass gathering was attacked and the activists were arrested, beaten by Police, and media activist Manggaprouw had his camera equipment seized by Police. They were taken to Polda Papua headquarters in Jayapura, where grave concerns are held by human rights workers for their safety and freedom from torture.
At 5.30pm this date WPB Victor Yeimo following his earlier arrest was taken to LP Abepura by the Public Prosecutor led by an escort force of police “with full war apparel” using 2 Dalmas trucks, a police patrol vehicle and one vehicle with darkened windows. Stingers for West Papua Media have reported that Police are working together with the Public Prosecutor regarding a previous case against Yeimo for which punishment was never finalised, hence the Prosecutor has detained him again.
At time of Update, Marthen Manggaprow, Yongky Uliampa and Ely Kobak are still being interrogated at Polda Papua.
KNPB Spokesman Wim Medlama told suarapapua.com, “True, officers had arrested four people on Housing III, near the taxi round. Police officers came down with their trucks, crashing into and damaging several motorbikes as well, and then arrested them. Currently they are being brought to the Papua Police. We beg for advocacy.”
“We want to MRP to hold accountable the government and security apparatus-related deaths in all the land of Papua, especially those occurring in Aimas, Sorong, at the time of Papua’s integration demo day on May 1, 2013 and now,” said Medlama.
The rally had been banned by notorious former Detachment 88 chief, now Papua Police chief, Tito Karnavian, in a move that had been widely criticised by Papuan civil society leaders, including Baptist Church leader Socretez Yoman and Kingmi Church leader Benny Giay.
KNPB Chairman Victor Yeimo yesterday told SuaraPapua.com that the ban would not deter Papuan people from peacefully voicing their aspirations. The Papua Police banning peaceful demonstrations is very unnatural, as well as it being illegal, because freedom of public expression is guaranteed by law in the country of Indonesia.
More to come – this is a developing story