Five people protesting the New York Agreement arrested by police

New York Agreement
Director of LBH Papua, Emanuel Gobay (far left) while accompanying five participants from the pulpit freely protesting the New York Agreement during a police questioning at the Jayapura Police Headquarters, Monday (15/8/2022). - Doc. LBH Papua

Jayapura, Jubi – Five Kunume Numbay activists were arrested by police on Monday, August 15, 2022, upon protesting on Lembah Bahari Street, Jayapura City, against the signing of the 1962 New York Agreement. The New York Agreement is an agreement to transfer power over the Land of Papua from the Netherlands to Indonesia. The agreement, signed on August 15, 1962, was made without involving indigenous Papuans.

Director of the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) Emanuel Gobay said that the five people arrested were Kunume Numbay deputy chair Jimmy Boroway, Kunume Numbay secretary Regina Wenda, Brus Sangkek, Roy Haluk, and Mina Tabuni.

Gobay said there were 14 Kunume Numbay activists who attended the protest. When they arrived at the protest site at 10:00 a.m. local time, it was already guarded by police. At 10.25 a.m., police dispersed the mass and arrested five of them.

“At first, the protesters gathered and played Mambesak songs. When they were about to open the pamphlets for display, they were immediately seized by the police. Then the police arrested five people and took them to Jayapura Police Headquarters,” Gobay told Jubi via WhatsApp message on Monday.

Until this news was released, the five people were still being questioned by the police. “We hope that the Jayapura Police Chief and his staff can release the five people who organized the protest,” he said.

Gobay questioned the police’s move to disperse the protest as free speech was guaranteed by Law No. 9/1998 on Freedom of Expression in Public. Moreover, according to Gobay, the protest did not affect the traffic or caused congestion. (*)

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