Jakarta – Police have arrested the chairperson of the Mimika West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Steven Italy, for allegedly playing a role in the riots and protest actions which took place in Jayapura, Papua. Police has already declared him a suspect.
“Yes that correct [the information] from Papua is that they are in the process of investigating the suspect in relation to the riots in Jayapura and several other places in Papua”, said national police spokesperson Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Thursday September 12.
Prasetyo said that Italy is also suspected of communicating with United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Chairperson Benny Wenda.
Based on information gathered by CNN Indonesia, Italy was arrested on Wednesday September 11 at around 5.56 pm local time at the Cendrawasih University in Papua. During the arrest police seized four mobile phones, 5.5 million rupiah in cash, a flashdisk and the car being used by Italy.
Italy is alleged to have played a role in checking on regional KNPB branches, managing the activities of the Mimika KNPB, ordering the mobilisation of protesters, directing protesters from Sentani and sending instruction to KNPB leaders throughout Papua.
Prasetyo however was did not explain in detail which articles he has been charged under. Italy is still undergoing questioning. (gst/arh)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Polisi Tangkap Ketua KNPB Mimika, Diduga Terkait Benny Wenda”.]