02 November 2011


‘People’s Congress’ ends in beatings, chaos
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International)
 Indonesian police have detained hundreds of delegates from the the Third Papuan People’s Congress which ended in chaos on Wednesday in Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura.

The arrests came after security forces opened fire to disperse people at Taboria Oval, where this major congress on Papuan self-determination aspirations took place.

Johnny Blades reports, "The detainees include the Customary Council Chairman Forkorus Yoisembut, who was proclaimed as President of the State of West Papua. Immediately after he read a declaration of independence, police and military opened fire and stormed the stage to begin mass arrests."

Pacific Islands Reported noted that Indonesian military troops reportedly fired on participants in the Papuan Peoples' Congress two days ago, and while casualties have been reported, how many people have been shot is unknown. Military leaders have said the shots were warnings and denied injuries or death.

"Reports emerging from Papua say between 300 to 800 arrests were made. Witness accounts via online social media networks describe beatings and ensuing panic in which hundreds fled. Many delegates remain missing. Police say they fired shots to disperse people committing violations such as raising the Papuan Morning Star Flag," according to Blades.