Police officers obstruct Papuan journalist in Tomohon City, North Sulawesi

On 1 December 2018, members of the local police and the military have obstructed Papuan journalist Piter Lokon  in the city of Tomohon, North Sulawesi Province as he covered a prayer session in commemoration of the 1st December at the Papuan student dormitory. People in West Papuan consider the date as the Papuan national independence day. The event was organised by the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat KNPB), a political movement organisation which claims the right to political self-determination for West Papua through a referendum. Piter Lokon, who works for the independent news outlet Tabloid Jubi since 2016, had received an official invitation to cover the prayer session.

Around 4.40 pm, joint security forces entered the dormitory building and seized net bags, bracelets and clothes with the morning star, a symbol of cultural identity in West Papua, which is also used by the Papuan independence movement. As Piter Lokon informed the the officer that he is a journalist covering the commemoration, members of the police, military special force unit (Kopassus), sub-district representatives and nationalist mass organisations surrounded and collectively questioned him (see intro image).  Doubting that Piter Lokon was a journalist, the police officers took pictures of him and seized his bag with the camera, a lens and his mobile phone. The Tabloid Jubi chief editor Angela Flassy confirmed the incident. She stated that Tabloid Jubi considers to take legal steps against the police.