17 Dec 2007

Political book banned and seized in Papua amid fear of unrest

2:31 pm on 17 December 2007

State prosecutors in Indonesia's Papua region have seized 60 copies of a book they say could divide the region.

But the Jakarta Post reports that critics have accused them of robbing local people of their freedom of expression.

The book, called The Sinking of the Melanesian Race: The Political Struggle in West Papua, was written by a local academic, Sendius Wonda.

The intelligence chief at the provincial prosecutor's office in Jayapura, Rudi Hartono, says the book is misleading and could spark division in the Papuan community.

The 60 copies were confiscated from a bookstore in Jayapura.

The prosecutors say their legal basis for banning the book is a 2007 attorney general's circular about banning printed materials that could mislead the public and disturb public order.