15 Aug 2013

Concerns for police response to banned planned West Papua demos

3:12 pm on 15 August 2013

There are concerns that planned demonstrations and cultural parades will go ahead in West Papua today despite a ban by Indonesian police.

In several towns and centres across Indonesia's Papua region, peaceful protests are planned to protest against the signing of the New York Agreement on this day in 1962.

Under the agreement, the former Dutch New Guinea was effectively ceded to Indonesian control.

Demonstrations are also planned to show support for the opening of the Free West Papua Campaign office in the Netherlands.

However in some towns including Fak Fak, police have arrested West Papuans preparing for their cultural parades or demonstrations.

Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association says the arrests raise great concern that the security forces will use unnecessary force to crack down on peaceful parades.