17 Mar 2006

Indonesia makes 40 arrests after violent clash in Papua

5:05 pm on 17 March 2006

It's been confirmed that Indonesian police have arrested 40 Papuans in connection to the violent protests against US-mining company Freeport which left seven dead.

Three policemen and a soldier died in clashes with protesters demanding the closure of Freeport's giant Papua mine.

The fighting took place outside the university in the provincial capital Jayapura.

There has been a series of recent protests over the operation's impact on the environment, the share of revenue to Papuans and payments to Indonesian security forces who help guard the site.

The head of Papua's Baptist Church, Socrataz Sofyan Yoman, says three protesters were also killed in the clashes.

He says that Papuan leaders will be meeting today with Indonesian representatives to discuss the problem.

"We have meeting [with the] delegation from Jakarta, senior leaders, police leaders, and national intelligent body. We have meeting in Jayapura today. We will talk about and are looking for how to solve this problem."

Socrataz Sofyan Yoman