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Hundreds of KNPB activists arrested by police in Nabire

Tabloid Jubi - July 7, 2017

Paniai, Jubi – Hundreds of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) activists in Nabire, West Papua, have reportedly being arrested by the Nabire district police and are now being held by the Nabarua sectoral police.

When sought for confirmation, Alexander Pigai from the KNPB's political and education diplomatic commission told Jubi that the arrests took place on Monday July 3 when they were holding a long-march to the local district police station to demand the release of two colleagues who had earlier been arrested by police.

"The arrests took place at 10.05am West Papua time in [Bukit] Meriam, when we were marching towards the Nabire district police [station] to demand that the district police chief and his officers release our two colleagues, namely Andi Yeimo and Samuel Kobepa", said Alexander on Thursday July 6.

Alexander explained that the two arrested colleagues had earlier gone to the Nabire district police to ask for the release of Nabire KNPB activist Yanto Waine who had been arrested while handing out leaflets calling for the commemoration of July 1 as West Papuan proclamation day.

"Yanto Waine has been missing for three days between June 30 and July 2. When we investigated we found that he had been arrested by the Nabire district police. Yanto was arrested while handing out leaflets on Jl. Medan, Karang Mulia. Early on the morning of July 4, 2017, KNPB Nabire members again organised to go to the Nabire district police, to demand the immediate release of Yanto Waine who had been arrested", he explained.

According to Alexander, at 12noon precisely he and 30 other members had gone to the Nabire district police. Upon arriving there they held negotiations with police over the arrest of Yanto Waine who had by then been in jail for four days.

"At 3pm, all of the KNPB members were assaulted by police and it was then that Andi Yeimo and Samuel Kobepa were arrested while the other members (28 people) were forced out onto the main road", he said.

"At 4pm, all of the 28 members were ordered to come back into the district police station grounds. There, at the district police station grounds the police allegedly promised us that Yeimo, Samuel Kobepa and Yanto Waine would be released by July 5 at the latest, but [it turned out that] only Yanto Waine was released", he said.

KNPB Nabire spokesperson Deserius Goo said that the KNPB will again be demanding their release from the grip of oppression.

Separately and in order to confirm the arrests and detention of the KNPB activists, a Jubi journalist twice attempted to contact Nabire district police chief Assistant Superintendent Sonny Sanjaya on his mobile phone, however there was no answer nor any response to an SMS message. (*)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Tuntut dua rekannya dibebaskan, ratusan aktivis KNPB Nabire ditangkap.]

Source: https://tabloidjubi.com/artikel-7564-tuntut-dua-rekannya-dibebaskan-ratusan-aktivis-knpb-nabire-ditangkap.html.

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