12 May 2005

Senior Papua police officer replaced, and four officers under questioning, following riot

6:49 pm on 12 May 2005

A senior police officer in the Indonesian province of Papua has been replaced following a violent clash between separatist supporters and police on Tuesday in Jayapura.

The Jakarta Post reports that after a quick evaluation, Commander Novly Pitooy was found guilty of human rights violations.

He will be replaced as chief of the antiriot squad ni Jayapura by Commander Son Ani.

A police spokesperson has also confirmed four other police are being questioned for allegedly violating police procedures in the incident that injured dozens of people, including 10 police officers.

According to the police spokesperson, 11 out of the dozens of local separatist supporters injured in the incident had been released from hospital after receiving treatment.

The separatist supporters were protesting outside Jayapura District Court after Philep Karma, a Papuan separatist leader who just left the courtroom, was not allowed to speak before the crowd.

Arrested last year for hoisting the outlawed seperatist flag, Karma and his accomplice Yusak Pakage face a potential five-year prison term for alleged subversive activities.