3 May 2017

West Papuan pair stabbed by military in Paniai

2:58 pm on 3 May 2017

Two West Papuans were stabbed by military personnel in Paniai regency of Indonesia's Papua province.

Police in Papua confirmed that the incident arose from a melee at a general store, or kiosk, in Paniai's capital Madi.

Indonesian police at a demonstration in the Papuan region

Indonesian police at a demonstration in the Papuan region Photo: Supplied / Whens Tebay

According to witness statements, a fight broke out when a man tried to rob the store.

Indonesian military personnel quickly arrived on the scene and brought the clash to a halt by stabbing two young men.

Police say the two men, aged 31 and 18, were taken to Paniai's main hospital where they are in a serious but stable condition.

Jayapura developments

Meanwhile, Indonesian police reportedly arrested at least 50 Papuans in the provincial capital Jayapura for participation in a public discussion and prayer event.

Suara Papua reports that of the dozens taken into custody, 26 Papuans are understood to have been tortured.

Their public event had reportedly been organised by the West Papua National Committee to protest over a significant date in Papua's history.

On 1 May 1963, the United Nations gave temporary administration of West Papua to Indonesia.

Additionally, reports from Jayapura indicate a Papuan journalist who was covering the 1 May public event was mistreated by police.

The journalist, Yance Wenda, has published photos of his injured body after he had been taken to the police station where he said officers beat him with a rattan cane.

Mr Wenda sustained injuries to his torso, mouth and eyes despite carrying a legitimate letter of authorisation from his employer to cover the event.

Indonesia is today hosting a major conference to mark World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta.

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

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

Chief Police Brigadier shot in Lanny Jaya District, Papua

According to Indonesia's Antara news agency, Chief Police Brigadier Awaluddin Elwakhan was shot by an armed civilian in Tiom, Lanny Jaya District, Papua, on Monday.

The police officer was in a kiosk located in Tiom Market when an armed man shot him twice in the back of his head, according to a spokesman of the Papua Provincial Police.

The unidentified gunman fled towards Yiginoa after shooting the officer, the spokesman remarked.

Elwakhan was injured and rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.