3 Dec 2012

Three West Papua National Committee members arrested during protests

8:41 am on 3 December 2012

Three members of the West Papua National Committee, KNPB, were arrested by police during protest action in the Waena area, Indonesia's Papua province.

The chairperson Victor Yeimo, was arrested along with Hukum Kiman and Ebes Sala over the weekend when demonstrators led by Mr Yeimo began marching from the Waena III State Housing Company towards the Expo area.

Hundreds of police from the Jayapura municipal police were mobilised and police initially requested that they disburse.

The KNPB were intending to commemorate December 1, which is usually referred to as Papua Independence Day.

The demonstrators refused and police dispersed them forcibly by firing tear gas into the crowd.

The 50 or so protesters immediately dispersed but not before three people were detained.

Jayapura municipal police chief Police Commissioner Alfred said that they were arrested because the protest did not have a permit.