26 Mar 2008

Indonesian police detains Chief of Council for West Papua National Authority

11:47 am on 26 March 2008

Indonesian Police have detained the Chief of Council for the West Papua National Authority, Eli Kaiway, in connection with demonstrations in Papua earlier this month.

Mr Kaiway presented himself under summons for interrogation, and Police arrested him over his alleged role among demonstrators who police say broke rules by raising the Papuan Morning Star flag.

He is being held at the POLRES Manokwari headquarters.

Police say Eli Kaiway will be charged with Rebellion and spreading hatred against the state, claiming he gave the order for the flag raising.

There are now 11 political detainees linked with the Authority in Manokwari at the peaceful rallies nearly three weeks ago.

A West Papua National Authority media release says the student political organisation has grave concerns for some of the detainees who have been tortured in police interrogation.

The Authority notes however that an underage political prisoner, Silas Carlos Tevez May, has been released now on bail.