Indonesian Papuans protest over police shooting

Indonesian Papuans protest over police shooting

SENTANI, Indonesia (AFP)

About 1,000 residents of a town near the main airport of Indonesia's remote Papua province took to the streets Wednesday in protest over a man shot dead by police.

The protesters blocked the road to the airport at Sentani, near the provincial capital Jayapura, after police shot dead the relative of an influential tribal chief, police said.

Papua police spokesman Nurhabri told AFP that the dead man was Agus Ohee, against whom villagers had complained to police of extortion.

"When the policemen came, the drunken Agus Ohee, who was about 20 years old, tried to chase them. Suhartono, the policeman, shot Agus Ohee in self-defence," Nurhabri said.

After the shooting protesters blocked the road to the airport, preventing airline passengers from reaching the terminal, he said.

Access to the airport was restored five hours later, police said.

Indonesian security forces are frequently accused of rights violations in Papua, which sits at the western end of New Guinea island.

The area has seen a low-level insurgency by poorly armed rebels since its incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.