Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Media release 24 March 2015
Papuan Police Chief says KNPB should be banned
The Papuan Police Chief, Inspector General (Pol) Yotje Mende said that the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) should be banned, as it is not an official organisation, it's an underground organisation.
Joe Collins of AWPA said "this is an attack on democracy. The KNPB is a peaceful civil society organisation trying to bring the worlds attention to the injustices suffered by the West Papuan people under Indonesian rule. The Papua police Chief should remember that The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 states Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, and article 20 (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association".
Collins also said "Instead of blaming civil society organisations for the trouble in Yahukimo, he would be better of controlling his security forces and allow civil society groups to take part in peaceful events, including raising funds for the victims of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and allowing rallies and meetings to go ahead including allowing the West Papuan people their right to discuss self-determination.
The KNPB National spokesperson, Bazooka Logo said he was undaunted by the statement from the Papua Police and the KNPB will continue to exist.
Update on situation.
It has been reported that tension is easing in Yahukimo.
However, because of the crackdown by the police on the closing ceremony of the fund raising activities of the KNPB on the 19 March,
Up to three people were shot, one dying later from his injuries and approximately 5 people arrested.
It was also reported that up to 1000 people fled taking refuge in houses of worship such as mosques and churches and at the local police station. Many of the refugees (migrants from outside West Papua) took refuge in the police station while indigenous Papuans fled to the forest and churches . One local reported that people are scared and shops closed.
West Papuan students have also called on the police
To stop arresting and shooting the civilians in Yakuhimo, to withdraw the Brimob unit from Yahukimo and release those arrested. They are also calling for human rights organisations to investigate the incidents in Yahukimo.
Students Yakuhimo after the press conference. Photo: Heng / MS