Indonesian soldiers shot Rufinus Tigau, 28, a catechist in Timika Diocese in Papua, on Oct. 26, 2020. He was accused of being part of a separatist group. (Photo courtesy of Father Marthen Kuayo)
Intending to visit activists arrested for treason, Father Pius Cornelius Manu, a priest in Papua's Merauke Archdiocese, was shouted at by police, interrogated and had his bag searched.
“I was shocked because I had often visited arrested activists. Previously, I was not treated that way because many policemen knew me,” said the priest, talking about an incident last November when he went to visit 55 Papuans at Merauke district police station.
They were arrested at a meeting to discuss Papua’s special autonomy status, which guarantees Papuans the right to manage their region politically, economically and culturally, which ends this year.
The police claimed the activists carried treasonous material, including pamphlets containing comments about Papuan self-determination.