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Amnesty urges release of 76 Papua activists arrested for handing out leaflets

Kompas.com - April 10, 2023

Singgih Wiryono, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia is urging the police to release 76 Papuan activists that were arrested for distributing leaflets calling for the release of Victor Yeimo, who is currently on trial for treason.

Amnesty International Executive Director Usman Hamid said all of the activists should be released without exception.

"We are urging the police to immediately release all of the activists that are being detained without exception and to also release them from all legal charges", said Hamid in a press release on Monday April 10.

Hamid said that the police should not have arrested the Papuan activists. Even when it is necessary to make arrests, this should be a last resort and done in accordance with strict standards.

"Not as the principle action taken in confronting the expression of ideas and statements of opinion by residents", said Hamid.

The arrest of the activist occurred today, on April 10. According to information received by Amnesty, 76 West Papua National Committee (KNPB) activists were arrested by police in Jayapura, Papua.

Fifteen were taken to the Abepura sectoral police (Polsek), 45 to the Heram sectoral police, and 16 others to the Jayapura district police (Polres).

The activists were arrested when they were handing out leaflets inviting people to take part in a free speech forum demanding the release of rights activist and KNPB spokesperson Victor Yeimo.

Yeimo is currently being tried by the Jayapura District Court on charges of makar (treason, subversion, rebellion). His next court hearing will take place on Tuesday April 11.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Amnesty International Desak Polisi Bebaskan 76 Aktivis Papua yang Ditangkap karena Selebaran".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/04/10/22285921/amnesty-international-desak-polisi-bebaskan-76-aktivis-papua-yang-ditangka