West Papuan protesters shot at rally

ACTIVISTS in the troubled Indonesian province of West Papua were injured yesterday as police fired shots into a crowd of protestors rallying against recent crackdowns. A protest in the city of Manokwari, the capital of the West Papua province, ended in violence as protestors threw stones and police responded with weapon fire.

Footage showed scenes of police dragging other people away. Local photojournalist Oktovianus Pogau said in an email that about 300 police were preventing a similar number of protestors from marching from the University to the town’s central square when some protestors “spontaneously threw rocks at security officers and it triggered brutal action”. He said 11 people were arrested and two were shot. Mr Pogau said he was held around the throat and punched in the face by police as he tried to retrieve his press card to show them.

Late yesterday, Fairfax was sent a series of photographs showing a number of injuries, some of which activists said were gunshot wounds. Manokwari Police Chief, senior commissioner Agustinus Supriyanto, said four police officers were injured in the face and head by stones thrown by protesters. Asked if any protesters were shot he said: “I still haven’t received information about it but I heard people who were brought to hospital have left hospital now”.


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