The chief of police in Jayapura has declared that the demonstration organised by the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) on 20 March was in violation of the regulations in force.
‘We have noticed that such actions are occurring more frequently and that they differ from other demonstrations that have been held. because the participants were carrying traditional attributes such as bows and arrows, police chief Alfred Papare told journalists.
He said several things had occurred : stones were thrown at members of the police force, flower pots were destroyed and attacks were made against journalist which had resulted in serious traffic congestion.
He said that in any action the police take against these people who have violated the law, they also expect the local government to support them against those who are acting in violation of the law.
‘Even though these actions did not turn anarchistic, I insist that they should not happen again; if this happens we will take firm action and we call on the local government authorities to support us in this,’ he said.
He also called on the local people who become involved in such actions to carefully consider the consequences of such actions, and to consider whether they are in violation of the laws in force.
I would like to remind all people living in and around Jayapura that they should consider what the aim of the action is and whether such actions are in conformity with the law. Dont just play around and start getting involved,’ he said. He said that people have the right to speak about their aspirations but they must not violate the law.
He also said that people who take part in such actions should not carry sharp weapons while under the influence of drink or behave like anarchists towards the general public but make sure that pedestrians are not prevented from using the pavements.
If these conditions are not complied with, he said, the police will take firm action.
As for the news that further actions are planned to take place on 5 April, he said that the police will take action to prevent this from happening.
[Translated by TAPOL]