7 Mar 2016

Protest over interrogation of West Papuan priest

10:03 am on 7 March 2016

Scores of Catholics in the capital of Indonesia's Papua province have been protesting against police interrogations of an activist priest.

Father John Djonga was taken in for police questioning last month after being involved in a formal event to open an office of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua in Wamena in Papua's Highlands region.

Father Djonga, who led a prayer service at the event, was subjected by police to an intensive grilling in Jayapura.

The Union for Catholic Asian News quoted a police spokesman as saying Father Djonga was considered a witness to a violation of Indonesia's criminal code pertaining to treason.

Protesters from the Catholic Youth and the Union of Catholic University Students of Indonesia organisations marched several kilometres to the police headquarters to hold their protest.

They called on police to stop harassing Father Djonga.

The priest said he was told police may call him in for further questioning, but insisted he was unfazed by police scrutiny.

Downtown Jayapura.

Downtown Jayapura. Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins