|Home page World|
Indonesian police have banned violent demonstrations and speeches promoting separatism in the easternmost region of Papua, which had been rocked by protests for two weeks, its security chief and the state news agency said on Monday.
Papua has been racked by the most serious civil unrest in years over perceived racial and ethnic discrimination. Some protesters have also been demanding a referendum on independence, something the government has ruled out.
The Papuan police issued six notices over the weekend, which included the ban on demonstrations and a list of criminal charges that could be brought against violators, chief security minister Wiranto told a news conference.
“Any person or organization is prohibited from carrying out or spreading separatism in expressing opinions in public and violation of this will result in strict action and law enforcement.”
Police also said in the notices that spreading fake news was a punishable crime.
Police have arrested 41 people in several Papuan cities for damaging public facilities and looting, Wiranto said.
Separately, two students were arrested in Jakarta and charged for treason.
About 6,000 police and military personnel have been flown in to Papua, national police chief Tito Karnavian said, reinforcing the already heavy military presence in a region that has endured decades of mostly low-level separatist conflict.
“If necessary I will deploy more troops,” Karnavian told reporters in televised remarks, adding that he planned to spend most of this week in the region.
The spark for the latest protests was a racist slur against Papuan students, who were hit by tear gas in their dormitory and detained in the city of Surabaya on the main island of Java on Aug. 17, Indonesia’s Independence Day, for allegedly desecrating a national flag.
2019.09.02 / 14:52