17 Aug 2013

Papuans march to mark New York Agreement

7:06 am on 17 August 2013

Police and security forces have tolerated peaceful demonstrations in several main centres of West Papua that marked the region's incoporation into Indonesia

Demonstrations to mark the 51st anniversary of the New York Agreement and express support for West Papuan membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group reportedly took place without incident in Nabire, Timika, Jayapura and Biak.

However several arrests were made in Fak Fak related to plans to protest despite a police ban.

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation's Paula Makabory says that ground reports indicate that the demonstrations were able to proceed within the police restrictions.

"They didn't stop the rally even though the police ban it, So the main point is that you could see how strong the West Papuans would like to stand up and spread the message out here about their rights, especially the right to self-determination."

Paula Makabory