Juhra Nasir, Tambrauw – The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) has spoke out about the declaration and inauguration of its management board in Tambrauw district, Southwest Papua province, which was broken up by police on Friday for alleged treason.
The group has also denied accusations that they planned to spread separatist ideas.
"We're not separatists but we are Papuan freedom fighters", KNPB Maybrat Chairperson Yohanes Assem told Agence France-Presse on Monday June 12.
Assem said that KNPB was formed not to spread terror and argued that its activities are carried out peacefully.
"The KNPB is not terrorist, the KNPB does not threaten, rather the KNPB teaches the way towards independence in a peaceful and dignified manner", he said.
Meanwhile in relation to the arrest of KNPB activists, the group [does not] understand the reason for the arrests. The argue that that the declaration and inauguration of the Tambrauw sector KNPB had already finished.
"Essentially, the core agenda had finished, on the matter of the arrests, that's normal for us", explained Assem.
Earlier it was reported that TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police) officers broke up a declaration and inauguration of the Tambrauw KNPB management board in Sarwom Village, Bamusbama district on Friday June 9. They were alleged to be planning to spread separatist ideas.
"The aim of those being inaugurated was they planned to spread separatist ideas, wanting to separate from the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia]", said Tambrauw police chief Assistant Superintendent Bendot Dwi Prasetyo on Sunday June 11.
During the incident, the police arrested 19 people. Based on the results of the police investigation, three of them, UK, YY and WY, have been declared suspects.
"UK as the initiator who brought the people together, carried out indoctrination and also invited people to join the activities", Prasetyo explained.
"YY is part of the KNPB organisational structure as a courier or intel. While WY was tasked with maintaining security over the activities during the declaration", he added.
YY and WY meanwhile were charged under Article 55 of the KUHP in conjunction with Article 106 of the Criminal Code. "[They also] face a sentence of 20 years to life imprisonment", he added.
Meanwhile Tambrauw district police operational division chief (Kabagops) Deputy Commissioner Putiho said the other 16 KNPB activists have been sent home.
They will receive guidance and have made a statement in front of the Tambrauw regency government, the TNI, Polri and traditional community leaders.
"They signed a statement in front of the Tambrauw regency government, the Dandim [district military commander] 1810, the Tambrauw police chief, community leaders, the DPRD [Regional House of Representatives] and traditional leaders [pledging] to build Tambrauw and not be easily provoked by sweet promises that go against the NKRI", he concluded. (sar/hsr)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KNPB Angkat Bicara soal Deklarasi di Tambrauw Dibubarkan gegara Dugaan Makar".]