24 Jul 2012

Papua arrests over collection for political prisoners

12:18 pm on 24 July 2012

15 members of the Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Abuse in Indonesia's Papua have been arrested.

The organisation says their members were arrested while they were out collecting public donations to cover the costs of medical treatment for political prisoners and other prisoners being held in Abepura.

But the police claim they had taken action against the activists on the grounds that the organisation was not formally recognised.

They have been released.

A spokesman for the group, Peneas Lokbere, says regardless of the police action, they will continue to collect money.

Meanwhile, a former deputy chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights in Papua, Matius Murib, says these arrests appear to be connected with the acts of violence that have been occurring in West Papua over the past two months.