Military, police storm Papua pro-independence group office, 14 activists arrested

Suara Papua – December 15, 2020
One of the KNPB huts demolished by joint unit of police and military – December 13, 2020 (Ist)

Charles Maniani, Manokwari – Mobile Brigade (Brimob) paramilitary police, national police intelligence officers (intel) and the army's special forces (Kopassus) stormed the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) offices in the Almasuh area of Merauke regency, Papua, during a raid on Sunday December 13.

This was reported by a Suara Papua informant from Merauke on Monday. The raid ended in two motorcycles being taken away and six people arrested.

"Yesterday, on Sunday (13/12/2020) at around 2 pm local time Brimob and intel officers arrived and vandalised the KNPB secretariat in Almasuh, they arrested six people and two motorcycles were taken", the source told Suara Papua from Merauke.

When sought for confirmation on Tuesday, Merauke KNPB member Yoris Wopay said that arrests were made on two occasions totalling 14 people who are being held temporarily by the Merauke district police (Polres).

"They were all arrested and beaten with cane sticks, four people were ordered to lie on the ground, then they were taken to Polres, there they were assaulted again, Kristian Yandun's head was cut and bleeding and Michael Beteop's back was bleeding, then they were detained with criminal prisoners. And two motorcycles were taken by the Merauke Polres", he explained.

No reason has been given for their detention and they have asked for a lawyer. Suara Papua meanwhile has been unable to obtain confirmation from the Merauke district police as to why they were arrested.

The names of those arrested are: KNPB Chairperson Charles Sraun (38), Deputy Chairperson Petrus Paulus Kontremko (32), KNPB diplomacy division head Robertus Landa (23) and KNPB members Kristian Yandun (38), Michael Beteop (24), Elias Kmur (38), Marianus Anyum (25), Kristian. M. Anggunop (24), Emanuel. T Omba (24), Petrus Kutey (27), Linus Pasim (26), Salerius Kamogou (24), Petrus Koweng (28) and Yohanes Yawon (23).

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Sekretariat KNPB Merauke Digerebek, 14 Aktivis Ditangkap".]