West Papua: Independence activists arrested

December 8, 2012

Indonesian police captain Kiki Kurnia told West Papuan independence leader Victor Yeimo, “We are ready to wreak havoc and clash with all of you,” during Yeimo's arrest at a protest in Jayapura on December 1.

Security forces blocked the West Papuan “independence day” march and arrested two other independence leaders along with Yeimo for organising the rally, West Papua Media said on December 2. The three were released the next day.

West Papua Media said one of the people photographed arresting Yeimo was identified by a source as a Detachment 88 officer trained by the Australian Federal Police.

The Australian-funded Detachment 88 “anti-terrorist” unit has been involved in a months-long crackdown on non-violent independence activists. Security forces have regularly raided activists' offices and arrested people on highly dubious “terrorism” charges.

The Australian government has refused to revoke funding for the unit despite its documented human rights abuses.

Other abuses have continued throughout West Papua. An activist was brutally beaten in police custody in Jayawijaya on December 1, KNBP News said on December 4.

A riot was sparked in Manokwari after police killed a political prisoner who was trying to escape on December 4.

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