UCA News
Contribute

Indonesian police 'arrest, beat' Papuan protesters

At least 23 are held for staging a rally against extending special autonomy status in Papua
Indonesian police 'arrest, beat' Papuan protesters

Papuan students are seen here prior to their arrest during a protest in Jayapura on July 14. (Photo supplied)

Published: July 15, 2021 09:16 AM GMT
Updated: July 15, 2021 03:24 PM GMT

Indonesian police have arrested at least 23 students staging a peaceful protest in Papua province, church and rights group said.

Some of those arrested were subjected to brutal assaults by police, they alleged on July 15.   

The arrests took place on July 14 in the provincial capital Jayapura during a protest against the government extending special autonomy status in the restive province.

It wasn’t clear how many people attended the protest.

Special autonomy status, first implemented in 2001, guaranteed Papuans the right to manage their own region politically, economically and culturally, but it was due to expire this year.

However, the move to extend it has met with opposition from Papuans who would prefer to have a referendum on independence.

The Papuan police chief ordered local police to break up the rally, who in turn used violence in doing so

At least 23 church and rights groups, including Jayapura Diocese’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, the Indonesian Christian Church in Tanah Papua and the Papua Legal Aid Institute, issued a statement on July 15 accusing police of using unnecessary force to break up the protest. 

“The Papuan police chief ordered local police to break up the rally, who in turn used violence in doing so,” they said.

Accusing police of rights abuses, the groups alleged that at least five people were beaten by officers.

“These officers need to be held to account and prosecuted,” they said as they called for the immediate release of those arrested.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Lent is the season during which catechumens make their final preparations to be welcomed into the Church.
Each year during Lent, UCA News presents the stories of people who will join the Church in proclaiming that Jesus Christ is their Lord. The stories of how women and men who will be baptized came to believe in Christ are inspirations for all of us as we prepare to celebrate the Church's chief feast.
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia