21 Apr 2009

Seven arrests in Papua over Indonesian pre-election violence

1:37 pm on 21 April 2009

The police in the Indonesian province of Papua have arrested seven people in connection with an attack on a police station in the provincial capital, Jayapura, ahead of the elections.

According to the newspaper, the Jakarta Globe, police confiscated evidence including a video camera, police radio and two cellphones emblazoned with the Morning Star flag, which is an outlawed separatist symbol.

It says police shot and wounded one suspect during the operation to arrest them.

The head of the military command says the unrest in the region has been caused by members of the separatist Free Papua Movement, or OPM.

There were a number of pro-independence demonstrations in the lead-up to the April polls in the province, which were marred by incidents of arson, assault and murder targetting migrants, police and native Papuans.

Meanwhile, the OPM has denied allegations it masterminded the election chaos, saying the police should not detain people without due process.