Violence at West Papua National Congress

The leader of Papua’s Baptist church says about one-thousand representatives of Papua’s 250 tribes were gathered at Cenderawasih University for the third West Papua National Congress.

On Wednesday, the Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman says the university was surrounded by about two-and-a-half thousand Indonesian security personnel, both hidden and in cars.

“Round the congress is police and military TNI, they are watching there, they are there. They are put in their cars like the panther, but there’s no problem. I think the international community is watching us, we aren’t alone.”

Reverend Socratez said the delegates want Indonesia, the United Nations and the international community to recognise their political right to self-determination.

However later on Wednesday Indonesian police fired tear gas and warning shots in eastern Papua on Wednesday, breaking up a meeting and detaining 300 people who had declared the province independent, a police spokesman told Reuters.

The detentions of members of the Papua People Congress follows a deadly clash between police and striking workers at Freeport’s Grasberg copper and gold mine in the same province.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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