Police crack down on rally to mark first anniversary of the Third Papuan Congress.


translated by TAPOL


A rally that was being held to mark the first anniversary of the tragic events during the Third Papuan Congress was broken up by the police.

It was at this congress in October 2011 that the establishment of the Federal Republic of West Papua was announced, with Forkorus Yaboisembut as president. Forkorus is still being held in Abepura prison.

According to reports, the Rev. Yesaya Dimara who was saying prayers, said that three trucks with troops on board and a Brimob truck entered the square round the grave of Theys Eluay [who was murdered by Kopassus troops in November 2001].

People coming to the event from Sabron were attacked by the security forces on Tanah Merah mountain, while those coming from Jayapura city were attacked along the Sentani High Road.

As yet, there have been no reports of any arrests.

The chairman of the committee which organised these communal prayers, the Rev Kelly Yabansabra tried to negotiate with the security forces.

The police officer, Chief Commissar Gede Sumerta Jaya denied these reports and told Jubi by phone that the security forces has used what he called the persuasive approach.

'We did not break things up but called on the people not to take part before they had gathered together for the event. 'There weren't many people taking part,' he said, 'and they were only gathering in Sabron.'

He denied that the police had attacked anyone. He said that they had tried to persuade the people not to take part in the rally or any other activities connected in any way with the Third Papuan Congress.