15 Aug 2016

Outrage over arrests of 50 activists in West Papua

7:16 pm on 15 August 2016

The Australia West Papua Association says its condemns the arrest of over 50 KNPB activists leading up to the commemoration of the New York Agreement, signed on the 15th August in 1962.

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Photo: RNZI

The agreement helped pave the way to the United Nations Act of Free Choice in 1969, giving Indonesia control of the provinces, which many Papuans say was undemocratic and a betrayal.

The AWPA said the 50 activists were arrested while handing out leaflets informing people of peaceful rallies to be held today to commemorate the event.

Although the activists had been released they were originally taken to the Jayapura Police Station where they were photographed and had their details taken.

A spokesperson for the group, Joe Collins, said he was concerned there would be a repeat of more mass arrests at peaceful rallies which in the recent past have also included shootings of innocent people.

A spokesperson for the KNPB Centre said they would continue to hold a peaceful demonstration today despite the arrests, while the AWPA said it would stand in solidarity with the West Papuan people at an event at the Sydney Town Hall today.

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