Police, TNI raid Papuan secretariat in Merauke – 14 activists arrested

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Vandalised KNPB secretariat
The vandalised KNPB secretariat at Almasuh, Merauke, in Papua. Image: Suara Papua

By Charles Maniani in Manokwari

Indonesian Mobile Brigade (Brimob) paramilitary police, national police intelligence officers (intel) and the army’s special forces (Kopassus) have stormed the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) offices in the Almasuh area of Merauke regency, Papua,

The raid last week was reported by a Suara Papua informant from Merauke on Monday. The raid ended with two motorcycles being seized and six more people arrested.

“Yesterday, on Sunday (13/12/2020) at around 2 pm local time Brimob and intel officers arrived and vandalised the KNPB secretariat in Almasuh, they arrested six people and two motorcycles were taken,” the source told Suara Papua from Merauke.

When sought for confirmation on Tuesday, Merauke KNPB member Yoris Wopay said that arrests were made on two occasions totalling 14 people who were being held temporarily by the Merauke district police (Polres).

“They were all arrested and beaten with cane sticks, four people were ordered to lie on the ground, then they were taken to Polres, there they were assaulted again, Kristian Yandun’s head was cut and bleeding and Michael Beteop’s back was bleeding, then they were detained with criminal prisoners. And two motorcycles were taken by the Merauke Polres”, he said.

No reason was given for their detention and the detainees have asked for a lawyer.

Suara Papua meanwhile has been unable to obtain confirmation from the Merauke district police about why they were arrested.

The names of those arrested are:

KNPB Chairperson Charles Sraun (38)
Deputy Chairperson Petrus Paulus Kontremko (32)
KNPB diplomacy division head Robertus Landa (23)
KNPB members Kristian Yandun (38), Michael Beteop (24), Elias Kmur (38), Marianus Anyum (25), Kristian. M. Anggunop (24), Emanuel. T Omba (24), Petrus Kutey (27), Linus Pasim (26), Salerius Kamogou (24), Petrus Koweng (28) and Yohanes Yawon (23).

Translated by James Balowski for IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “Sekretariat KNPB Merauke Digerebek, 14 Aktivis Ditangkap”.

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