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Papuans get support against police

Rights groups express 'regret at violent acts' during arrest operation

Activists and families of victims tell their story Activists and families of victims tell their story
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • June 10, 2011
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The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) and Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) have urged the police chief in Jakarta to deal with a violence case in which they say dozens of Papuans living in the state capital were victimised.

“KontraS and LBH Jakarta have expressed regret about the violent acts that happened during an arrest operation against Papuans living in Jakarta, which was allegedly carried out by the Special Detachment 88 [a counter-terrorism squad and part of the Indonesian National Police], Kemayoran Subdistrict’s police, and central Jakarta district’s police in the early morning of May 28 in Wisma Cendrawasih, a home for Papuans living in Jakarta,” Tommy Albert Tobing from LBH Jakarta said in a statement issued by the rights groups at a press conference yesterday in central Jakarta.

He said the arrest operation was led by Muhammad Firman Norsa, who heads the district’s criminal investigation department.

“We urge the chief of Jakarta Metropolitan police department to carry out a proper investigation against those committing violent acts in the cruel arrests and ransacking,” he said.

He also hoped the police “can act professionally by carrying out an investigation into the perpetrators.”

Roberth Roland, a victim, recalled that his room door was knocked on and kicked by police members. “I was beaten and threatened with a gun,” he said, acknowledging that he had not done any criminal acts.

The arrest operation was carried out following the destruction of an Internet café by about 30 Papuans staying in the home on May 25, after a colleague was found wounded and unconscious because of torture allegedly carried out by the café owner.

Twelve Papuans were arrested during the operation. Seven have been released, while the other five are still detained.

Related report
Papuans Complain Of Being Marginalized In Their Own Province
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