17 May 2007

Indonesian police still occupying Kingmi church building

8:59 am on 17 May 2007

Indonesian Police are maintaining control of the Kingmi Synod Church office in the capital of Papua province, Jayapura.

A demonstration by hundreds of Papuan Kingmi Church members against the occupation of the building by police for several days has now moved to the Provincial Assembly building.

The church claim the police are violating a court ruling from last year upholding the Kingmi's claim to the office following the church's move to separate from the GKII church of Indonesia.

Benny Giay from the Justice and Peace Secretariat Catholic Diocese in Jayapura says there are conflicting interpretations of the court ruling.

"According to the Chief of Police, Kingmi church won the court case, but it was not asset or property. That interpretation was only made up by the police because they've been accusing the Kingmi Synod of Papua of being as religious arm of the Independence Movement."

Benny Giay says the church members want their property back, because church is the only institution Papuans have left which Jakarta doesn't control.