Seven Held Over Attack on Police in Abepura

Seven Held Over Attack on Police in Abepura

Received from Joyo Indonesia News
The Jakarta Globe
Christian Motte

Police in Papua Province have arrested seven people in connection with the attack on the Abepura Police station in the provincial capital of Jayapura on the eve of the April 9 legislative elections.

During the operation on Saturday, police said they confiscated evidence including a video camera, police radio and two cellphones emblazoned with the Morning Star flag, which is an outlawed separatist symbol.

The suspects, John Hisage, Kanitius Hisage, Epekus Pawika, Jefri Haluk, Amitu Yomat, Tina Dami and Deli Wenda, were all arrested at a house belonging to Mas Murib, a suspected separatist group member.

One of the suspects, John Hisage, was shot and wounded during the police operation.

Maj. Gen. AY Nasution, head of the Papua military command, said that the unrest in the region had been caused by members of the separatist Free Papua Movement, or OPM.

There were a number of pro-independence demonstrations in the lead-up to the April polls in the province, which were marred by incidents of arson, assault and murder targeting migrants, police and native Papuans.

The most recent incident was an attack by armed men on seven Mobile Brigade police personnel on Wednesday. One police officer, Brig. Musa Aninam, was killed.

OPM has denied allegations it masterminded the election chaos, saying that the police should not detain people without due process.

Papua Deputy Governor Alex Hasegem said that despite reports to the contrary, Papua was secure and the recent events were only minor, and could be handled by local police.

"This is only an overblown rumor, as Papua's current condition is very secure and under control," he said.