16 Apr 2015

West Papuan delegates arrested after Jakarta meeting

7:43 pm on 16 April 2015

A delegation of West Papuan representatives has been arrested after claiming they were told by an Indonesian minister that it is time for negotiation about West Papua.

Indonesia's Papua region: the provinces of West Papua and Papua

Indonesia's Papua region: the provinces of West Papua and Papua Photo: RNZ

Tabloid Jubi reports that the six Papuans, including members of the Papua Customary Council, or KIP, went to Jakarta and met informally with the Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

However the KIP delegates were then arrested on treason charges after holding a press conference upon their return to Papua's provincial capital Jayapura.

A police spokesman said the arrests follow instruction from Papua's Police Chief to deal strictly with organisations which threaten Indonesia's sovereignty .

Earlier, according to KIP delegate Don Flassy, the Minister had told them that there should be no more talk about Free Papua, but instead, negotiation.

The reason for the KIP trip was to follow up on letters sent to Indonesia's President by the President of the so-called Federal Republic of West Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut, regarding his organisation's declaration of independence for West Papua.