KNPB Chairman and minor arbitrarily arrested in Maybrat

The Papuan news outlet Suara Papua reported that members of the Sorong Selatan District Police arbitrarily arrested the Chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) branch office in Maybrat regency, Adam Sorry (see intro image, source: Suara Papua). Other KNPB members who witnessed the arrest claimed that the police officers tortured many KNPB members and released warning shots during the arrest. The police officers did not show a warrant or provided information regarding the reason for the arrest. The KNPB suspects that the police are attempting to criminalise the KNPB Chairman for the murder of a mobile brigade police officer in the regency of Bintuni. Previously, police officers targeted other KNPB branch offices during widespread raids in the Maybrat regency.

On 1 July 2020 around 10.00 am, police members came to Kisor Village in the Aifat Timur Selatan district and arrested Adam Sorry while he was inside the KNPB branch office with other KNPB supporters. According to witnesses, the officers released at least 20 shots before they entered the KNPB office to arrest Adam Sorry. The KNPB supporters inside the office were allegedly kicked and beaten during the arrest. One police officer reportedly punched Adam Sorry to the chin. A minor named Agustinus Fatem was also arrested as he hugged Adam Sorry in order to prevent the arrest. Both were detained at the Sorong Selatan District Police Department for further investigation.

The KNPB is a civil resistance movement which peacefully advocates the right to self-determination over the political status of West Papua through a referendum.