Papuan demonstrators seek independence referendum PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
Geschreven door Australia Network News   
woensdag 25 maart 2009 01:00

More than a thousand people have demonstrated in the capital of Papua province to demand a referendum on independence from Indonesia.

Witnesses say the protesters in Jayapura carried banners rejecting the forthcoming Indonesian elections in the province, and demanded the withdrawal of troops.

Independence activists in Papua have waged a separatist campaign for decades that has recently intensified ahead of the elections.

Two soldiers and two civilians have been killed this month in violence that police say was related to the separatist campaign.

Journalists arrested

Four Dutch journalists have been detained by police in Indonesia's remote Papua region for reporting on a pro-independence protest.

The two men and two women were taken in by police during the rally in Papua.

They were reporting on the return of the co-founder of the pro-independence Free Papua Movement, Nicholas Jouwe, to Indonesia after more than 40 years in exile in The Netherlands

A police spokesman told the AFP news agency that the journalists did not have the permits required to cover the event and are being held in immigration detention.

Authorities are yet to decide whether to charge or deport the group.

The resource rich region of Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia after a 1969 UN-backed vote by tribal elders, which is widely regarded as a sham.