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Schools ransacked in Papua crackdown
Church condemns arrest sweeps in institutions after police fire warning shotsFather Tebay
- ucanews.com staff, Jakarta
- October 27, 2011
The raids on Saturday followed the forced break up of the Third Papuan Peopleās Congress earlier in the day after participants last week hoisted the Morning Star flag, a symbol of the Papua independence movement, Father Neles Tebay told a press conference in the schoolās compound.
Police reportedly fired warning shots in the assembly, prompting many of the 1,500 participants to flee.
Authorities arrested more than 300 people in the crackdown, during which six people were killed and six others later charged with treason, reports said.
Father Tebay said troops first mounted a guard outside the school then burst in, ransacking the dormitory, despite protests from seminarians, several of whom were assaulted suffering minor injuries.
They then broke into the study room and a computer room, āmessing up the whole place,ā he said.
āThe sound of smashing mirrors could be heard. There was also a voice pleading, āDonāt do this! This is a mission house,āā Fr Tebay said.
The nearby New Jerusalem Interdiocesan Major Seminary was also raided, he said.
Troops stormed a housing complex for lecturers firing tear gas into rooms. In a Franciscan community house, they found and arrested several congress participants.
Condemning the āheavy-handedā methods of the authorities, Fr Tebay said: āWe strongly abhor any form of repressive act, because violent acts humiliate humanity.ā
Papua peace still elusive, say leaders
Government āmust stop Papua violenceā