Indonesian police arrest dozens ahead of West Papua protest
Indonesian police have detained dozens of people ahead of a West Papua independence protest today.
Jakarta: Indonesian police have detained dozens of people ahead of a West Papua independence protest today.
At least 200 people were arrested in several cities in Papua and Java, said Veronica Koman, a lawyer for Papuan independence activist Filep Karma.
Today is the 55th anniversary of the official declaration of an Indonesian military campaign to take control of Papua from the Dutch.
Koman said several people were arrested last week when they applied for demonstration permits.
She said the headquarters of the pro-independence National Committee for West Papua in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, was vandalised during a police raid today.
The Dutch colonisers of the Indonesian archipelago held onto West Papua when Indonesia became independent after World War II. It became part of Indonesia following a UN-supervised referendum in 1969 criticised as undemocratic.