Abepura, Jubi – The Papua Police did not issue a permit to the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) for a demonstration demanding the release of two French Journalists detained in Jayapura Immigration custody.
KNPB planed to hold a rally on Monday but the Papua police refused to issue a permit. The Secretary of KNPB, Ones Suhuniap said in a statement Sunday (12/10) the police refusal to issue a permit amounted to the closure of democratic space in West Papua.
He explained the police argued that that KNPB is not a registered organization and that it used the banned symbol of Morning Star and the stamp symbolizing the Free Papua Movement.
In Addition, the Papua Police also said protests by KNPB always include demands for independence for West Papua.
Suhuniap said KNPB was established before the existence of the Indonesian rule in Papua. ‘We only add “B” on the “KNP” to refer the declaration of KNP’s political manifesto on 1 December 1961,” Suhuniap said.
He further said the police’s rejection of West Papua symbols contradicted the Special Autonomy Law on the Regional Symbol.
“The Papua Police violated the law because Aceh which also obtained a status as special region can use its own symbol,” he said.
KPNB said the police have violated the Constitution 1945 saying the Independence is the right of each nation. “Therefore the Papua Police has violated the Constitution 1945,” he said.
Overall, the KNBP considered the letter of rejection was only the reason. Therefore the KNPB will keep on its planning.
“Indonesia is a democratic county. It should guarantee the opinions and political difference. Therefore, we keep on our planning. Being arrested or being shot, it doesn’t matter. We never admit the existence of the Republic of Indonesia in West Papua. It’s imperialist,” he said.
Meanwhile, KNPB spokesperson, Basoka Logo said KNPB only submitted the notification; they don’t need permission to hold a demonstration from the Papua Police.
“We will keep on the protest. We don’t need STTP,” he told Jubi in Abepura on Sunday (12/10). (Benny Mawel/rom)