21 Oct 2011

Indonesian police detain hundreds of delegates following gathering

6:49 am on 21 October 2011

Indonesian police have detained hundreds of delegates from the the Third Papuan People's Congress which ended in chaos on Wednesday in Papua's provincial capital Jayapura.

The arrests came after security forces opened fire to disperse people at Taboria Oval, where this major congress on Papuan self-determination aspirations took place.

Johnny Blades reports

"The detainees include the Customary Council Chairman Forkorus Yoisembut, who was proclaimed as President of the State of West Papua. Immediately after he read a declaration of independence, police and military opened fire and stormed the stage to begin mass arrests. Reports emerging from Papua say between 300 to 800 arrests were made. Witness accounts via online social media networks describe beatings and ensuing panic in which hundreds fled. Many delegates remain missing. Police say they fired shots to disperse people committing violations such as raising the Papuan Morning Star Flag."