13 Jun 2013

Beatings at student demo in Indonesia's Papua province

3:27 pm on 13 June 2013

A journalist in Indonesia's Papua province says yesterday's student rally was forcibly broken up by police who are currently searching for the organiser.

Police started dispersing the 50 rallying students at Cendrawasih University in Waena when they blocked the entrance.

The police also violently arrested the leader of the Papua National Parliament, Buchtar Tabuni.

Alex Perrottet reports.

"Aprila Wayar, a journalist for Tabloid Jubi, was present at the rally and says four to five police officers stopped a car and dragged Buchtar Tabuni out, hit him repeatedly and stomped on him. Supporters say he has bruises on his head and back from rifle butts. They then took him to the police station for questioning, asking whether he helped organise the demonstration. Students had raised the banned pro-independence Morning Star flag. Aprila says police then released Mr Tabuni and are now searching for the student organiser Yason Ngelim, who is being harboured by a human rights group. She says there are now many police around Jayapura. The demonstration follows Monday's peaceful rally in support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in New Caledonia next week, which will consider the West Papuan application for membership."