Arnold Belau, Jayapura – Papuan Central Highlands Indonesian Student Association (AMPTPI) General Secretary Markus Haluk, along with scores of other Papuan activists, were arrested by police in front of the Papuan Regional House of Representatives (DPRP) as they were holding a demonstration to welcome the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) delegation that arrived in Jayapura on Monday January 13.
The arrests were confirmed by a human rights activist in Papua, Usman Yogobi. “That’s correct, this morning Markus Haluk and scores of Papuan activists were arrested by police in front of the DPRP offices”, Yogobi said when Tabloid Jubi spoke with him at the Imbi Park in Jayapura this morning.
Yogobi said that the arrests were a consequence of the arrival of the MSG delegation to Papua so the MSG must take responsibility. “Mr Markus Haluk and the scores of activists were arrested because of the arrival of the MSG delegation so the MSG must take responsibility”, asserted Yogobi.
In a text message sent to Jubi, West Papua National Committee (KNPB) General Secretary Ones Suhuniap said that 42 KNPB members were arrested by police in front of the DPRP. “Forty two people were arrested. Those arrested were AMPTPI Secretary General Markus Haluk, KNPB First Chairperson Agus Kosay, KNPB Intelligence Commissariat Ucak, KNPB Chairperson for Diplomacy Ogram Wanimbo and 42 other people from the protesters. [They were arrested] when the demonstrators were protesting against the arrival of the MSG team which had been kept under wraps”, said Suhuniap.
According to Jubi’s observations, the area around Imbi Park is currently under the close guard of police and it appears that there are no other protesters planning any actions.
Another Papuan activists, Yulianus Mabel, told Jubi that the arrested activists are currently at the Jayapura municipal police station. “They’re currently at the Jayapura municipal police station”, Mabel told Jubi on Monday by mobile phone from the grounds of the Jayapura municipal police station. According to Mabel, as well as arresting the activists police also seized items such as banners, megaphones and a camera.
In Abepura, Jayapura city, students from the Cenderawasih University (Uncen) held a demonstration in front of Uncen campus. “We are calling on the MSG to meet with the Papuan people, political prisoners and victims of human rights violations”, said action coordinator Alfares Kapisa.
When sought for conformation by phone meanwhile, Jayapura municipal police chief Alfred Papare did not respond. Jubi send three separate text messages in all but no response was forthcoming as of going to print. (Jubi/Arnold Belau/Benny Mawel)
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]