24 Feb 2016

Indonesian police to question priest on Papua treason charge

5:14 pm on 24 February 2016

Indonesian police are reportedly considering charging a Catholic priest with treason after he led a prayer service attended by members of an alleged Papuan separatist group.

The Catholic news agency UCA says Father John Djonga was summoned to appear at the police station in Wamena last week but refused.

The agency says the priest told the police they would also need to contact his superiors at Jayapura and that he needed to retain a lawyer before meeting with police investigators.

Father Djonga led a prayer service on 15 February to inaugurate the office building of the Papuan Customary Council, where a banner of the separatist United Liberation Movement for West Papua was unveiled.

Father Djonga said the council fights for the Papuan people so that they could be free from poverty.

It also fights against human rights violations and for other social issues and he says these are the things he prayed for during the service.