Conflicting reports about situation in Papua

Reports of arrests continue to come out of Papua as a police crackdown intensifies. The Jayapura Police chief announced last Monday that his forces had detained three people responsible for “spreading fear and terror” in the province.

The three — Jefry Wandikwo, Zakius Saplay and Calvin Wenda — allegedly acted in conjunction with slain independence activist Mako Tabuni to perpetuate a series of shootings in Jayapura, including a seemingly random attack on a German tourist.

Mako, who was deputy chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), was shot dead earlier this month by plainclothes police sent to arrest him.

The officers said they had to shoot Mako because he resisted arrest and made a grab at one of their guns. But witnesses interviewed by the National Commission on Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) say the police were in their cars when they gunned him down.

“This is nothing new, these gross human rights violations against those accused of being supporters of separatists,” Rev. Benny Giay, told the Jakarta Globe after the event. “This is how they try to weaken, try to control the civilians.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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