Jayapura, Jubi – Spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Ones Suhuniap said at least 37 KNPB activists were arrested by police in Sentani and Abepura for distributing leaflets on Monday, 10 April, 2023, calling the people to join a protest demanding the release of Viktor Yeimo, the KNPB international spokesperson currently on trial at the Jayapura District Court for alleged treason.
Suhuniap said 20 KNPB activists were arrested in Abepura's Kamkey area on Monday at around 09:57 a.m. Papua time and taken to Abepura Police Station. They are Hiyong Suhuniap, Ropi Esema, Nonce Sabu, Pura Yahuli, Hason Bay, Lius Bay, Arki Enggalim, Amon Heluka, Wolex Heselo, Yali Sabu, Narius Yahuli, Bayam Heselo, Esano Giban, Asah Giban, Elly Hiluka, Gule Kalolik, Budi Hiluka, Amos Musi, Amnes Heluka and Erem Pagawak.
"The police confiscated leaflets and KNPB activists were transported to Abepura Police Station," Suhuniap told Jubi.
Meanwhile, as many as 17 KNPB activities were arrested by police in Sentani and taken to Jayapura Police Station, Jayapura Regency. Those arrested are Huber Bagau, Nando Passe, Denny Esema, Ovvi, Ecko Passe, Wasuok Siep, Milex Itlay, Maikel Siep, Omes Esema, James, Agus Passe, Dortius Tengket, Elison Pahabol, Kurus Tua Felle, Joshua Keroman, Bartol Itlay and Sadracks Lagowan.
Suhuniap said all the 37 KNPB activists were still being held and examined at Abepura Police Station and Jayapura Police Station. "They are still detained," he said.
On April 11, 2023, the public prosecutor is scheduled to read out the charges in the treason case against Viktor Yeimo. The treason case is related to the Papuan anti-racism demonstration to protest racial slurs directed at Papuan students at the Kamasan III Papuan Student Dormitory in Surabaya on August 16, 2019.
Jayapura Resort Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Frederickus Maclarimboen confirmed that his party had arrested 17 KNPB activists in Sentani. However, KNPB activists were not detained and allowed to return home after being questioned by the police. "They have been sent home," Maclarimboen said.
Abepura Police chief Adj. Comr. Soeparmanto also confirmed the arrest of 20 KNPB activists in Abepura. Soeparmanto said KNPB activists did not want to disperse despite police warning so the police arrested them and brought them to the police station for questioning. He said the 20 KNPB activists had been sent home. (*)