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KNPB accuses police and TNI of 'street thuggery' after Timika office takeover

CNN Indonesia - December 31, 2018

Jakarta – West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Secretary General Ones Nesta Suhuniap has accused a joint task force of Mimika district police and Indonesian military (TNI) in Timika, Papua, of acting immorally and illegally.

The KNPB was protesting against the police and TNI after they forcibly took over and vandalised the KNPB office in Timika without a court order authorising the raid or an arrest warrant.

"The police and TNI forces in Papua are like street thugs operating at markets and bus terminals, the Timika KNPB office was vandalised", Suhuniap told CNN Indonesia on Monday December 31.

Suhuniap refuted police accusations that there were indications of activities at the KNPB office in Timika which opposed the existence of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

According to Suhuniap, on that day the KNPB office was merely holding a simple thanksgiving ceremony for the establishment of the headquarters.

"Every December 30 and 31 we hold a pilgrimage and office thanksgiving. But today our [event] was broken up by force", said Suhuniap.

Furthermore asserted Suhuniap, these actions by security forces have in fact only aggravated feelings of hatred against the police, TNI and central government on the part of KNPB members and the Papuan people.

The security forces' actions, he said, again demonstrate that there is legal discrimination against the Papuan people.

Based on this, the KNPB is emphasising that incident has actually further inflamed their spirit to fight for the wishes of the Papuan people who want the right to self-determination and a referendum on the status of the Land of the Cendrawasih as Papua is known.

Suhuniap also said that this is not the first time this month that the security forces have acted aggressively against the KNPB. Earlier, on December 1, security forces seized property and vandalised the KNPB offices in Jayapura and Asmat.

"The police and TNI are a waste of space. The Papuan people hate them and the central government more and more", said Suhuniap.

Earlier, Papua regional police public relations head Senior Commissioner Ahmad Kamal asserted that as of today, the KNPB secretariat will no longer be allowed operate and its headquarters has been taken over and turned into a TNI and police post.

Five KNPB office bearers and sympathisers, including KNPB chairperson Yanto Awerkion, were also arrested and are being questioned intensively at the Mimika district police headquarters in Timika. Suhuniap said that his colleagues were still being held at the police headquarters.

Security personnel also put up the national red-and-white flag on the front window of the KNPB office and painted over a KNPB logo on the office wall with a red-and-white flag. (dal/DAL)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KNPB Respons Insiden Timika: Polisi dan TNI seperti Preman".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181231174908-20-357595/knpb-respons-insiden-timika-polisi-dan-tni-seperti-preman