4 May 2011

West Papuan protestors say police hamper democratic rights

8:10 am on 4 May 2011

One of the estimated six thousand West Papuans who demonstrated in Jayapura on Monday says police prevented them from presenting their petition to the provincial parliament.

The demonstrators were demanding self-determination through a referendum and dialogue about the political status of Indonesia's Papua region.

The rally was the biggest of several reported mobilisations by West Papuans in urban centres across Indonesia's remote eastern region.

A spokesman for the West Papua National authority, Jack Wainggai, says the rally was peaceful despite the presence of many Indonesia Security officers.

However he said police intimidation continues to hamper their democratic rights.

"We get intimidated and terrorised by the police.And then that is why we are not free to say (about) our problem in our action."

Jack Wainggai.