The police in Papua forcibly dispersed a humanitarian action taking place when Papuans were out collecting money to help political prisoners.
They were from an organisation called Solidarity for Human Rights Victims, SKPHP. The police said that they had dispersed the people because the SKPHP has not registered with the provincial administration.
The news was confirmed by Peneas Lokbere, a member of the SKPHP, who told JUBI that before undertaking the action they had notified the police of their intentions in both Abepura and Jayapura. Having done this, it meant that the police would grant permission for the action to take place.
Nevertheless, while the action was in progress on Friday at 1pm, the police dispersed those taking part in the action. "We were forcibly dispersed," said Peneas. "They said that this was because we had not registered the organisation with the authorities. and therefore, we were not allowed to continue with this collection of funds."
He also said that after the police came to disperse the action, they dispersed peacefully. "We did not offer any resistance. If we had resisted, it would have led to a lengthy process." Peneas said that they would follow up their action on Friday, 20 July. "We will go to the police and ask for permission to continue with action."
The street collections were being undertaken to provide for the medical requirements of the political prisoners and the other prisoner who are ill at the prisons in Abepura and Jayapura – Among those who are ill in Abepura Prison are Filep Karma, Ferdinand Pakage and Jefrai Murib.
Their intention was to carry out this action from 9am Thursday 19 July until Saturday 21 July.
[Translated by TAPOL.]