Thousands of protesters took to the streets today in Jayapura, the provincial capital, demanding an end to racism against West Papuans in Indonesia and for full independence from Indonesian occupation. Security forces attacked the crowd with tear gas sparking a major rebellion. Demonstrators retaliated and attacked the security forces with rocks, set fire to cars and set fire to buildings.
Reports on Twitter indicate that several government buildings were targeted including the Customs and Excise office. Abepura prison, where a number of West Papuan political prisoners are held, was among buildings damaged and burnt today, with many prisoners escaping. Also targeted was the headquarters of the Indonesian State controlled internet provider Telkomsel. A police station and a local military chief’s vehicle were also torched. There are reports that the banned Morning Star flag of the West Papuan independence movement is flying from the governor’s office and that protesters are occupying the building.
Electricity was cut in parts of Jayapura, landline phone connections are down too, along with the internet – which is still being blocked by the Indonesian State throughout West Papua.
The Indonesian State have announced that they are sending an additional 300 members of the security forces to Jayapura to try and quell the uprising.
Papua Merdeka! Free West Papua!