Protesters arrested after Obama-related demo

Protesters arrested after Obama-related demo
, 9 November 2010

JAYAPURA: Three activists were arrested for staging a demonstration demanding to meet visiting US President Barrack Obama to convey their aspirations.

Protester Usman Yogbi said they had sought to report human rights violations, environmental damage and protest the presence of Freeport, which they said had not benefitted the local people.

“That should be Obama’s responsibility. That’s the message we want to convey,” he said.

They had planned to hold a “Papuan solidarity for Obama” demonstration at the Papuan legislature but instead now face detention on the grounds that they did not have the mandatory permit.

“We sent a letter of request for the permit to the police office last Thursday, but there was no reply,” Usman said.

The three activists arrested were Selpius Bobi, Frans Kabak and Matias Waur.

Yuberius Selegoni said the arrest was a form of violence against democracy. “Why were people wanting to express their aspirations arrested? The state guarantees people’s aspirations,” he said.