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Indonesian police make further arrests in West Papua protestors

6 December 2016 10:33

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Indonesian police have made more mass arrests on West Papuans who last week protested for self-determination in Jakarta.

Over two hundred people were arrested in Jakarta last week at a rally to mark the anniversary of the first raising of the banned Papuan nationalist symbol, the Morning Star flag, Radio New Zealand reported.

A public interest lawyer who was present, Veronica Koman, has said police indiscriminately arrested people.

“The police didn’t mention any particular laws. It’s just a pattern of violating their right to freedom of expression. I think the state is just being paranoid of the Morning Star symbol,” she said.

“It’s just basic freedom of expression. As long as Papua is still a part of Indonesia it means they still have the right to freedom of expression, and it’s being violated systematically by the state. And also, I would like to say that today is an historic moment for the West Papua movement. Because this year it’s the first time ever that Indonesians have taken to the streets together with the West Papuans in celebrating 1st of December and demanding the right to self-determination for West Papua. And we in Jakarta are really campaigning, letting Indonesians know what’s actually happening in West Papua, and also the history of manipulation by state. So people are opening their eyes, and it’s growing, the solidarity is definitely growing,” she continued.

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