Friday, July 17, 2015

1) Security head pulls knife during protest

2) Mosque Attacked, Idul Fitri Prayer Disrupted in Papua
1) Security head pulls knife during protest 

NT Parliament House security officer Michael Caldwell, far left.
The director of NT Parliament security “lost it” and pulled a knife on West Papua activists in the grass outside Parliament House, the NT News has been told.
“It’s not only mad inside Parliament, it’s mad outside too,” a witness said.
The West Papua activists had constructed a traditional Honai hut that they called an “embassy” and spent two days bringing attention to Indonesian treatment of West Papua.
A group of five or six West Papuans were at the hut singing traditional songs on Tuesday when head security guard Michael Caldwell allegedly began shouting at them.
Vaughan Williams, a field officer with Larrakia Nation, was at the site checking on his clients when the brouhaha erupted.
“He (Mr Caldwell) was screaming angrily saying it’s his land, it’s his Parliament,” Mr Williams said. “They were being cheeky and yelled back that it’s Larrakia land. That’s when he lost his temper and went off.” Mr Caldwell then allegedly threatened to slice up a banner the group had placed on a fence. “And he pulled out this knife,” Mr Williams said. “He was walking towards them with the knife in his fist. A woman was screaming ... here’s an angry big man with a knife in his hand.”
Police, who were nearby, ­intervened and ordered Mr Caldwell to go back inside Parliament House to defuse the situation. “It was a peaceful event,” Mr Williams said. “The West Papuans are very polite and were singing songs beautifully. But someone could have been slashed and injured.”
Speaker Kezia Purick originally denied the knife incident occurred, calling the claims “rubbish”. But when confronted with the pictures, Ms Purick implied the group had been behaving poorly by ­urinating on things and intimidating people.
A representative of the ­activists denied any poor behaviour from the group.
NT Police described the blade as a “pocket knife” and said Mr Caldwell had pulled it out for cutting down the banner, which he was unsuccessful in doing. “Police told him to go back inside Parliament House to stop him from antagonising the situation,” a spokeswoman said. The activists were subsequently evicted from the grounds after their permit application was rejected. The representative said they are considering filing a formal complaint about the incident.
Police confirmed no charges are pending at this time.


2) Mosque Attacked, Idul Fitri Prayer Disrupted in Papua
By Robert Isidorus on 11:27 am Jul 17, 2015
Jayapura, Papua. Residents in Papua’s Tolikara district on Friday morning attacked a group of Muslims who were about to perform Idul Fitri prayers, throwing rocks at the congregation and setting fire to their mosque.
Security forces fired warning shots to disperse the crowd of about 200 after the Muslims had fled the scene, running toward a nearby military post.
People in the crowd chanted “No [Islamic] worship in Tolikara district” and called for the prayer meeting to be disbanded.
The Islamic prayer, to celebrate the end of the fasting month Ramadan, was to be held at the office of the Karubaga subdistrict military command at around 7 a.m.
Sr. Comr. Patrige Renwarin, a spokesman for the Papua Police, confirmed the attack but could not provide additional details.
Majority-Christian Papua has long been the scene of a low-intensity struggle for independence, with separatists targeting police and military forces they see as representatives of a Javanese-dominated and majority-Muslim state occupying their land.

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