WORLD Indonesian gov't pledges to probe W. Papua riot


Indonesian gov't pledges to probe W. Papua riot

Global Times

02:30, August 22, 2019


People hold candles during a rally of solidarity for West Papua in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 20, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

Indonesian government assured thorough probing process against those who are responsible for the riot that broke out in West Papua province's capital of Manokwari, saying that it has apparently risked the nation's unity, Indonesian chief security minister said on Monday.

Speaking at a joint press conference in his office here, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Wiranto said fair and legal probe must be carried out against those who have committed legal violations related to the riot.

"The probe must be conducted against those taking advantage from this incident for their negative intentions," Wiranto said, adding that probe against those involved in national flag vandalism should also be held as well.

The press conference was held after a meeting to particularly discuss development of riot in Manokwari.

Wiranto called on people not to get easily influenced by irresponsible issues spread in social media related to the riot.

The riot in Manokwari broke out Monday morning to protest the recent arrest of Papuan students and disrespectful comments related to the students' protests in East Java cities of Surabaya and Malang.

Rioters set fire at provincial parliament building and blockaded the roads with trees and burned tires in the city during the protest, which has made the city paralyzed.

Massive demonstrations over the same protests also occurred in Jayapura, capital of the neighboring Papua province. No riot took place in the city, reports said.

Indonesian authorities released 43 Papuan students in Surabaya on Sunday after arrested them for flag vandalism case on Friday.

The disrespectful statement against Papuan students came out on Thursday after a demonstration to commemorate the 1963 Papua referendum ended up in commotion.

West Papua Police Chief Herry Rudolf Nahak said that situation on Manokwari has been gradually restored after the rioting mass dismissed themselves in the afternoon.

He said in Manokwari that rioters demanded security assurance for Papuan students studying in Java and an apology from those who made the disrespectful statements against the students.

"They were angry to respond the events in Surabaya and Malang. Their hearts were hurt to hear the disrespectful statements," Nahak was quoted as saying by local media.

Processes to calculate losses from the riot in Manokwari carried out by related provincial authorities are underway at present, Nahak added.

Operation to hunt down those producing and posted the hoaxes in social media that led to the riot is underway at present, Indonesian Police Headquarters Spokesperson Dedi Prasetyo said.

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