Demanded their colleagues released, hundreds of KNPB Nabire activists arrested

Hundreds of KNPB activists in Nabire, Papua were arrested and brought into a Police truck in Bukit Meriam witnessed by a Papuan Mama – (Jubi / ist)

Paniai, Jubi – Hundreds of activists from the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) of Nabire region were reportedly arrested by Nabire Police Resort and secured in Nabarua Police Station.

Political Education and Diplomacy Commission KNPB Nabire, Alexander Pigai said to Jubi that the arrest happened when they march to the local police station to demand two of their colleagues who were detained by the police on Monday (03/07/2017) to be released.

“The arrest occurred at 10:05 Papua time earlier in Meriam area, when we came down the road to Nabire Police to ask the police to free two of our colleagues, namely Andi Yeimo and Samuel Kobepa,” said Alexander Pigai, Thursday (July 6) .

He explained that the two colleagues were detained in Nabire Police yard when they asked the police to release another KNPB activist, Yanto Waine who was arrested earlier while distributing leaflets to commemorate July 1 as the day of Proclamation of West Papua.

“Yanto Waine is missing three days from 30 June to 2 July. When we trace him, he was detained in Nabire Polres. Yanto was arrested while distributing flyer on Jln. Medan, Karang Mulia. On July 4, 2017, the members of KNPB Nabire went back to Nabire Police, demanding immediate release of the detained Yanto Waine,“ he explained.

According to him, at 12.00 o’clock Papua time day, himself and around other 30 people went to Nabire Police. When they arrived, they negotiated with the police related to the arrest of Yanto Waine who was already four days in jail.

“At 3 pm, all KNPB members were detained and beaten by the police and that was the time when Andi Yeimo and Samuel Kobepa get arrested and the other (28 people) were forced to get out on the highway,” he said.

“At 4 pm, all those 28 people were told to go back to the Police yard. From the Polres yard, the police claimed to promise us that Yeimo, Samuel Kobepa and Yanto Waine will be released by July 5. But then only Yanto Waine was released,” he said.

KNPB Nabire spokesman, Deserius Goo said it was so odd that they came to police station to ask their colleagues to be free from persecution but led in another arrest.

When contacted via cellular phone, Nabire AKBP Police Chief Sonny Sanjaya did not provide answers. (*)