Indonesian police say they will “arrest anyone” calling for West Papua’s independence

March 2, 2019

On Wednesday 27th February, the Head of the Indonesian police in West Papua, Inspector General Martuani Sormin Siregar announced that any people advocating West Papua’s freedom will be arrested.

After a joint meeting with the Indonesian police, he stated, “If there is anyone who shouts for independence in the Unitary Republic of Indonesia, we will arrest them”.

Most strikingly, this comes after five Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council recently condemned what they described as a “widespread pattern of violence, alleged arbitrary arrests and detention as well as methods amounting to torture used by the Indonesian police and military in Papuaā€¯.

Such a statement by the Indonesian police is in clear violation of the human right to Freedom of Expression, which according to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is the right of everyone and “includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

It is indicative of the increasing Indonesian state oppression towards West Papuan people that the Indonesian police are now publicly acknowledging that they will systematically violate this fundamental human right of anyone who calls for independence.

The people of West Papua urgently need your support at this time of crisis. You can help to give vital support for the West Papuan people and their cause for self-determination by visiting the Take Action part of our website today.

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