12 Dec 2016

KNPB activists arrested and released twice in Papua

7:22 pm on 12 December 2016

About a dozen West Papuan activists were arrested and released twice within two days in the capital of Indonesia's Papua province.

Jayapura Harbour, Papua province, Indonesia

Jayapura Harbour, Papua province, Indonesia Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

On Friday, 17 members of the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, were arrested in Jayapura for writing "Free West Papua" graffiti on walls.

They were released after being interrogated by police.

However, on Saturday 14 of the KNPB activists were arrested a second time for writing the same message as public graffiti again.

According to the Indonesian public interest lawyer, Veronica Koman, they were were released later in the day.

West Papuans demonstrate in Wamena, 10 December 2016

West Papuans demonstrate in Wamena, 10 December 2016 Photo: Islami/Jubi

Also on Saturday the KNPB organised a huge demonstration in the Highlands town of Wamena.

At least 6,000 people were reported to have attended the demonstration, protesting against human rights abuses in Papua and calling for a legitimate self-determination referendum.

There were no reported arrests.

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