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More Indonesian troops sent to attend to Papua uprising

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Indonesian police have arrested dozens of people in the capital of Papua province, following protests and unrest last week.

A West Papuan student was killed and others injured in Jayapura early yesterday as Indonesian security forces built up their numbers in major centres of Papua.

Indonesian police vehicles attend to mass mobilisations in Jayapura, Papua province, August 2019
Indonesian police vehicles attend to mass mobilisations in Jayapura, Papua province, August 2019 Photo: Whens Tebay

The Antara news agency reports that 6,000 extra military and police personnel have been deployed to Papua since a wave of protests across the region began two weeks ago.

The widespread protests by West Papuans haven’t been confined to cities in Papua – they have also been witnessed in Javanese cities, notably the capital Jakarta.

They were sparked two weeks ago in response to racist harassment of West Papuan students in Surabaya. The protests have developed into large pro-independence demonstrations by Papuans.

A police spokesperson says 28 people have been arrested in Jayapura after the local parliament and other buildings were set ablaze – more face investigation.

In Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, a legal aid lawyer says police have charged two students with treasonous intent against the unity of the nation. Several other Papuan students and an activist in Jakarta have also been arrested.

Last Thursday and Friday, Jayapura experienced a second wave of protest which lapsed into rioting involving the burning of the Papuan People’s Assembly complex and other buildings.

Protestors also occupied the provincial governor’s buildings, before resident groups clashed in parts of the city including Abepura.

According to Tabloid Jubi, a young Papuan man was killed during a clash at dawn on Sunday in Abepura after police arrived to attend to the unrest.

The government has blocked internet across Papua in what it claims is a necessary anti-disinformation measure.

Meanwhile, authorities say that at least two protestors, and a soldier died in a clash in Deiyai on Wednesday. However Papuan activists say seven Papuan protestors were killed in Deiyai.

Source: RNZ

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