Protest: West Papua National Committee (KNPB) chairman Buchtar Tabuni (left) and KNPB spokesman Victor Yeimo speaking at a press conference in Jayapura on April 30. They were discussing their rejection of Papua’s integration into Indonesia. (Antara/Chanry Andrew Suripatty) - S
West Papua National Committee (KNPB) deputy chairman Agus Kossay and two other Papuans, Bano Kalaka and Nodi Hilka, were interrogated on Friday in connection with the arrival of French journalist Marie Dhumieres in Papua on Oct. 1.
“This morning, I was summoned by the Associated Mission Aviation [AMA]. I arrived at the AMA office at 9 a.m.,” Agus told tempo.co after his interrogation. He said that he, along with Bano and Nodi, was interrogated by officials from the Papua Immigration Office and an unidentified security institution.
According to Agus, they were questioned for 30 minutes about Dhumieres’ activities while covering the inauguration of the executive board of the KNPB’s Bintang chapter in Okhika, Papua, on Oct. 1., and about Dhumieres’ journalistic activities in Okhika in general.
Agus explained that the French journalist had come to Papua after she had been informed that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had allowed foreign journalists to enter to carry out their work.
“The journalist came to Papua on her own initiative. We did not invite her. “The journalist left Okhika on Oct. 2., and went home,” Agus added.
Dhumieres arrived in Okhika on Oct. 1 onboard the same AMA plane as the KNPB’s leader, Victor Yeimo, and Agus Kossay. The pair were travelling to Okhika to inaugurate the executive board of the Bintang chapter of the KNPB, an organization considered by many to be a supporter of the Papuan separatist movement.
In a press release received by tempo.co, KNPB spokesman Bazoka Logo suspected that AMA’s management was under scrutiny for allowing the French journalist and the KNPB leaders to fly to Papua. “The day after the inauguration, the AMA forced Agus Kossay to take Dhumieres to the AMA office without giving a reason,” Bazoka said.
AMA director Djarot Soetarto said three security officers arrived in his office to enquire about the AMA’s position with regard to KNPB activities. Djarot said that his organization agreed to fly the journalist to Okhika because it was told she would take part in a church service. Djarot said that he felt that he had been cheated. (bbn)(+)