Indonesian police detain protesters in Papua PDF Afdrukken

Jayapura, Indonesia - Indonesian police detained several protesters flying outlawed independence flags on Tuesday during peaceful rallies against Jakarta's rule in the country's eastern-most province of Papua, witnesses and police officials said. At least two demonstrations took place in the provincial capital Jayapura to mark the 48th anniversary of the Free Papua Movement declaring independence from Dutch colonial rule.

About 15 protesters were detained for questioning, while several illegal pro-independence Morning Star flags and leaflets advocating independence were confiscated, witnesses said.


Papua police chief Brigadier General Bekto Suprapto told reporters that the police had to disperse the demonstrators because they had no permit to hold a rally.


On Monday, human rights group Amnesty International urged authorities to investigate allegations of police killings and abuses in Papua.


The London-based organisation released an open letter to Papua police chief Suprapto, alleging that police officers had killed two men and beaten dozens of demonstrators in custody since late last year.


Papua, a predominantly ethnic Melanesian province 3,700 kilometres north-east of Jakarta, is a former Dutch colony that became an Indonesian province in 1964 after a vote involving tribal leaders that many regarded as a sham.