32 Papuan pro-independence activists arrested for planning KNPB conference

Kawat Timur – June 19, 2021
Some of the 32 activists wait to be questioned at Jayawijaya district police – June 18, 2021 (SP)

Wamena (KT) – The Jayawijaya district police arrested 32 people alleged to be members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Ilekma District, Napua, this afternoon, Friday June 18. The 32 were taken in for questioning in relation to a meeting to plan a conference.

"Those who are being questioned came from the Yalimo, Nduga, Yahukimo, Central Mamberamo and Boven Digoel regencies", said Jayawijaya deputy police chief Police Commander Ridwan at the Jayawijaya district police.

In addition to this, said Ridwan, several also came from Fak-fak and Sorong regencies in West Papua province.

According to Ridwan, the 32 were arrested because they had gathered to plan a KNPB conference in Yalimo, but because it was cancelled, they gathered in Ilekma district instead.

"We obtained this information from people around Ilekma who reported it to police then they were taken in for questioning, a crime may not perhaps have been committed because they only wanted to plan a conference and set a time", said Ridwan.

Out of the 32 arrested, said Ridwan, two who came from Fak-fak and one from Yalimo were civil servants and one was a student from Sorong.

After the data has been collected, Ridwan said that all of them will be sent home to their respective regions.

Papuan human rights defender Theo Hesegem, who assisted the 32, confirmed that he saw the 32 at the Jayawijaya district police station and all of them were in good condition.

"There were just questioned and made statements declaring they would not hold such an activity again, and the police said there was no crime committed requiring legal action", said Hesegem.

According to Hesegem they will be sent home tomorrow and everything has been coordinated between the Jayawijaya regency government, in this case the Jayawijaya regent. (NP)


According to a June 22 article by Suara Papua (https://suarapapua.com/2021/06/22/sempat-diamankan-32-anggota-knpb-dilepas-dari-polres-jayawijaya/) all 32 have since been released and sent home.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Rencana Gelar Konferensi, 32 Orang Diamankan Untuk Dimintai Keterangan".]

Source: https://kawattimur.id/2021/06/19/rencana-gelar-konferensi-32-orang-diamankan-untuk-dimintai-keterangan/