4 Dec 2009

Police in Papua release thirteen Papuans from jail

10:49 am on 4 December 2009

Police in Indonesia's Papua have released thirteen Papuans who were arrested on Tuesday as they held a peaceful rally to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the pro-independence Free Papua Movement.

The Papua Police chief says they released the thirteen and urged them to engage in dialog instead of holding illegal rallies.

Brigadier General Bekto Suprapto says they have evidence against them for holding a rally without a permit.

According to authorities, members of the riot police made the arrests as they dispersed up to 40 activists who had gathered in the provincial capital Jayapura carrying posters of the banned Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence.