17 Sep 2013

Thousands demonstrate for democracy in West Papua

9:50 am on 17 September 2013

Indonesian police have used tear gas to disperse demonstrators after a rally in the Papua provincial capital became disorderly.

West Papuans were participating in demonstrations calling for self-determination in parts of Indonesia's Papua region.

Tabloid Jubi reports that one rally in Timika saw thousands taking to the streets carrying banners urging a referendum on independence.

The newspaper reports that Indonesian security forces maintained tight security around the demonstration which remained peaceful.

The Jayapura rally was organised by the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, but police say the group did not have permission to hold the event.

The KNPB says it held the rally to commemorate the international day of democracy.

Around twenty KNPB members were arrested.