Peaceful demonstration attacked by police – KNPB Chairman arrested

May 13, 2013

demonstrator arrestedEarlier today a peaceful demonstration in Jayapura to commemorate the four people who were killed at the 1st May rally was attacked by police and four members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), including its chairman Victor Yeimo were arrested.

The build up up to the demonstrations have been tense. Four people were killed by the Indonesian security forces at the 1st May demonstrations and this action drew condemnation by the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay and Amnesty International. The police banned today’s commemoration demonstration but the KNPB insisted their right to freedom of speech would not be squashed and they would continue with the demonstration as planned. Victor Yeimon released a statement saying “we are protesting our sisters, our mothers our brothers and our fathers who have been killed by Indonesian Military Police and Military. Are we an animal who don’t have a heart and feeling in this planet. Our people died and we are protesting, is that illegal?”.

Victor Yeimo in prison today. Despite being beaten he is still smiling. The Papuan people's desire for freedom will never die.

Victor Yeimo in prison today. Despite being beaten he is still smiling. The Papuan people’s desire for freedom will never die.

Today’s demonstration drew over 1000 participants but was heavily attacked by the police with baton charges outside the gates of Cenderawasih University in Abepura. During the attacks the following four members of KNPB were arrested: Victor F Yeimo (Chairman of KNPB), Marten Manggaprouw (media worker) and students Yongky Ulimpa and Ely Kobak. The four KNPB members have since been reported to have been tortured and beaten.