Pacific / West Papua

Dozens of demonstrators arrested in West Papua

17:26 pm on 30 November 2020

Indonesian police have arrested 36 people in two West Papuan cities for demonstrations to support a pro-independence movement.

Photo: 123RF

The Asia Pacific Report reported the demonstrations in Manokwari and Sorong were commemorating the anniversary of the West Papua New Guinea National Congress at the weekend.

West Papua Regional Police Spokesperson, Assistant Superintendent Adam Erwindi, said the demonstrators failed to provide prior notification of their rallies with police.

He said police had the authority to break up the demonstrations, which he claimed were disrupting public order and blocking roads.

According to the Antara state news agency, the demonstrators refused to disperse and pelted police with stones and bottles until they were pushed back by teargas.

Two Brimob paramilitary poilice were reportedly injured by demonstrators who shouted "Free Papua" as they threw stones in the direction of police.