West Papua activist claims arrest by PNG police illegal

9:31 pm on 12 May 2015

A Free West Papua activist who was arrested at a demonstration for the arrival of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo in Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, on Monday says his arrest was illegal.

The general secretary of the PNG Union for a Free West Papua, David Dom Kua, says he and six others were detained and held without charge for six hours.

He says police told him he was arrested for disturbing the flow of traffic, but he says his organisation had a Supreme Court order that allowed them to protest.

Mr Kua says his detention was illegal and politically motivated, and he plans to take legal action.

"We are not in Indonesia, we are in Papua New Guinea. This is our own country, we are stepping on our own soil and our own laws and so if there is any political interference or influence whatsoever, how can the police or our government think they can do what the Indonesian government has been doing?"

Meanwhile, another demonstration outside Port Moresby's airport on Tuesday, which was intended to coincide with the president's departure, featured the burning of an Indonesian flag.

However President Widodo had left earlier than scheduled.