A Spanish tourist arrested by Indonesian police for attending a Free West Papua rally in June is still coping with the release of his private details by police to the press.
Thousands of people in West Papua held rallies across the country and in several Indonesian cities in June to call for self-determination and for West Papua's full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Twenty-eight year old Andreu Arino says he was visiting West Papua and went to watch a rally which took place near where he was staying in Jayapura.
Andreu Arino was shocked that he was arrested and his details were released after attending a Free West Papua rally. Photo: RNZ/Indira Stewart
ANDREW ARINO: Basically I heard there was a demonstration going on and yeah, curiosity, I went to take a look, take some pictures, interact with the people. So to my surprise, when I was getting closer, I wanted to take some pictures and some guy grabbed me. He was wearing plain clothes. I guess it was the police. After some small struggle they took me to the police office and they started asking me why I was there and everything.
INDIRA STEWART: Sorry, we'll just backtrack a bit there. So you weren't participating in the rally, in the demonstration. You just attended and you were observing?
AA: Yeah, my first intention was to be as an observer.
IS: So, when the police did come up to you, had they given you a warning first? Had there been any kind of communication before you were arrested?
AA: No that was the funny thing. As I was approaching I was taking pictures of the police, uniformed police, they would do nothing. When I started to try to take pictures of the demonstration itself. It's when this plain-clothed police took me.
IS: And when you were arrested can you describe to us what happened?
AA: So basically it's quite strange when you get arrested in Indonesia. So they started asking questions in their basic English so somebody would come and ask the same questions again and again and again. They started taking all my belongings, taking pictures of it. I tell them I was a tourist, I'm visiting.,
IS: How long were you detained by police?
AA: At the beginning it was one morning. Then I was processing my passport to go to Papua New Guinea. So I had my passport at the Consulate, so I told that to the police. So next day, I went to get my passport and the police was there. So they took me again and they did a proper interrogation. And it was almost one day of interrogation, like maybe 9am to 5pm. I was staying with a host and it was the night of the interrogation that he told me that the police had leaked my details to the press. So it was all over the news. Because the police leaked my name, my photo, my details. Now you google my name it's all on the details. My friends back at home got the news as well because it was translated to English to Catalan to Spanish.
IS: While you were detained and they were interrogating you, can you describe what the experience was like?
AA: They treat me well. No problem, no violence. They are not trying to scare me. Also I was really relaxed. I guess, for me I didn't do anything wrong. They were convinced that I was a journalist passing as a tourist and that's completely illegal. And they were trying to push me if I was or not, like that.
IS: How do you feel about the Indonesian police releasing your details to the press?
AA: It was...I'm really protective about my details, my personal, my privacy. And it was terrible. It was quite an experience as well because at the same time, I didn't expect to be detained. I didn't expect my details to be leaked. So yeah, this was an eye-opener of how things were there. The police can do whatever they want, they don't really care much about your own personal safety or anything.
IS: Do you feel quite helpless at the fact that you can't do anything about your experience and the fact that your personal and private details were leaked to the media?
AA: Well I think I can have some tools to remove that if I need in the future. So far I'm still coping with it, how it's going to affect me in the future. Any people that looks at my name will find that it's going to be linked with me for a long time. I didn't do anything wrong. It shouldn't happen of course.