Series of arrests continues after Papua-wide rallies against racism

One month after the first anti-racism demonstrations took place across West Papua, the police launched a series of arrests and criminalisation. Authorities have targeted political activists, human rights defenders and students. Two further arrests of students have been reported from Manokwari, Papua Barat Province. On 19 September 2019, police officers arrested Erik Aliknoe in the Gunung Salju Road for his involvement in demonstrations on 3, 6 and 11 September 2019 (see intro image). The police pressed criminal charges against him for incitement and conspiracy. Two days later police officers arrested another student named Yunus Alitnoe in his house in Manokwari without showing a warrant or providing a reason for the arrest. The parents speculated that the arrest is related to the ant-racism demonstrations in Manokwari.

Police officers arrested the journalist and executive board member of the National Independent Journalist Association (AJI), Dandhi Dwi Laksono, in the Javanese city of Bekasi. On 26 September 2019, police officers forcefully entered his house and brought him to the Police headquarters in Jakarta where he was taken into custody. He has been charged with article 28 of the Indonesian Electronic Information and Transaction Law for a tweet about the deteriorating situation in West Papua. The police accused Laksono of spreading hate news. AJI urged the Indonesian police to drop all charges and immediately release him.