17 Jun 2006

Grave concerns for a human rights advocate arrested in Papua

7:14 am on 17 June 2006

There are grave concerns for the safety of a West Papuan human rights advocate currently in police custody in the Indonesian province of Papua.

Jonah Wenda was arrested on Thursday by local Police in the West Koya area, about 30 kilometres from the Papua New Guinea border.

The 35 years-old was later transferred to Jayapura where he is currently being held.

At the time of his arrest Mr Wenda was engaged in humanitarian work and human rights investigation.

He made a mobile phone plea to alert friends but his phone has now gone quiet.

Reports say Mr Wenda is sick and needs urgent medical attention.

Human Rights workers have been denied access and remain concerned about his health and well being.