21 Oct 2011

At least three dead in chaos at Papuan People's Congress

4:10 pm on 21 October 2011

Reports from Jayapura in Indonesia's Papua province indicate that at least three people have died in the chaos which erupted at the end of the Third Papuan People's Congress on Wednesday.

Indonesian security forces opened fire on delegates at the major gathering and discussion on Papuan self-determination in the provincial capital after the Congress culminated in the declaration of an independent state of West Papua.

Police have since claimed they were only shooting to disperse the crowd.

But the Papua Youth and Student Solidarity movement's Djenggo Nuburi says delegates were directly attacked by military.

His words were translated:

"Shooting at people and also they were shooting up to the sky to bluff people to clear the spot. But I recently received three IDs of the first deceased found. They were stabbed."

Meanwhile, of the hundreds of delegates arrested, most have since been let go.

However a group of 14 remains in custody, including Forkorus Yaboisembut and Edison Waromi, the proclaimed President and Prime Minister respectively of the newly declared independent state.