KNPB activists’ arrest, only eight people were secured says the Police Chief

Some of the 45 people arrested in a raid occurred at Uncen rented flats – IST complex

Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura Municipality Police Chief, the Adjunct Senior Police Commissionaire Gustaf Urbinas confirmed the arrest of a number of people during a raid at the rent flat nearby the Cenderawasih University on Wednesday (4/3/2018).

Of the forty-five being arrested, there were only eight taken from the secretariat of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). “The rest was arrested for alleged motorcycle theft,” said the Police Chief Urbinas. However, this arrest occurred in different locations.

According to him, despite to follow up the case of motorcycle theft, the police came to investigate the preparation of declaration by KNPB activists because this had run without a notice and permission from the police. When the police conducted a raid to follow up the criminal case, five people were found in a unit of rent flats, where the KNPB secretariat is located,” said the chief.

“Then we seized some pieces of stuff including the morning star flag and other attributes, and we took three people along with some who were in the secretariat,” said Chief Urbinas.

Joint with the police in the raid were several military members. It is known later that one of eight arrested people at the KNPB secretariat is Ones Suhuniap, the General Secretary of KNPB.

A day earlier, Suhuniap made a clarification to media that the declaration that was held on 5 April in 2018 had nothing to do with the KNPB. “Invitation on social media and distributed leaflets were not official from the Central KNPB,” Suhuniap told reporters in the press conference held at the Expo Museum on Tuesday (3/4/2018).

None of Free Papua organisations, further said Suhuniap, established a declaration committee. He mentioned a group who named itself as the Preparatory Committee of the Republic of West Papua, which would hold a declaration on 5 April 2018, is not part of KNPB.

The KNPB Chairman Victor Yeimo told Jubi that the security forces did not only arrest a number of people, including their activists but also destroyed the door of the KNBP secretariats and a number of items. The police also took some computers to their offices. Several rooms in the secretariat were also raided.

“Currently Ones Suhuniap, Mrs Pangresia Yem and Cristin Othen are being examined at the Criminal Section of the Jayapura Municipality Police,” said Yeimo. (*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier