Police prevents peaceful commemoration of the ‘International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples’

Members of the Lanny Jaya district police have prevented Papuan indigenous leaders to peacefully commemorate the ‘International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples’ in the highland town of Tiom. According to the chairman of the Papuan Customary Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP), Dominikus Sorabut, police members stopped him and 200 other DAP members on 9 August 2019 (see intro image) in front of the district police station as they were on the way to a large field in Tiom where the commemoration was supposed to take place. Police officers intercepted the group and did not allow them to go continue to Tiom. The group finally returned to Wamena.

Dominkus Sorabut stated that he will report the incident to the United Nations. The head of Lanny Jaya District police, officer Muryatmo Edi, had allegedly refused to issue an acknowledgement letter (Surat Tanda Terima Pemberitahuan, STTP) as he tried register the peaceful commemoration at the local police station on 3 August 2019. Officer Muryatmo Edi justified the prohibition of the commemoration because the DAP is not officially registered at the Government department for national unity and politics (Kesbangpol). He further explained in a letter that the identity of the organizer as well as the total number of participants were not clear.