27 Nov 2013

Dozens of West Papuans arrested in Timika

11:38 am on 27 November 2013

Dozens of West Papuan activists are reported to have been arrested by a combined police and military deployment in the Indonesia province of Papua on Tuesday.

The National Committee for West Papua, or KNPB, reports 31 Papuans were arrested while staging a peaceful protest in Timika, calling for the right to self-determination of West Papuans.

The group had gathered at the tomb of West Papuan military leader Kelly Kwalik.

Those arrested include members of the KNPB and the so-called National Parliament of West Papua.

The KNPB says members of the local community are being intimidated, arrested and killed just because they look to claim their rights peacefully.

West Papuan activities calling for self-determination are increasing ahead of the December 1st anniversary of the 1961 West Papuan declaration of independence.

The declaration was ignored by Indonesia which subsequently annexed the former Dutch New Guinea.