The Jayapura Police took into custody 47 would-be protesters who were preparing for a rally in support of Papua's efforts to secure membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in Jayapura on Thursday.
"The 47 demonstrators have been taken into custody and questioned about a protest they were to carry out today. From the 47 people, we will examine who was the coordinator or mastermind of the rally and who were just followers. For the followers, we will release them after taking their fingerprints, but for the coordinator, we will process him or her further," said Jayapura Police deputy chief Comr. Albertus Andrian, adding that five out of the 47 protesters were female.
He said police arrested the 47 individuals at three gathering points, namely the Waena Expo Hall and the University of Cendrawasih campus, both in Waena, and Imbi Park, which is in Jayapura.
Albertus said the planned demonstration had not received a permit from the Jayapura Police. "Their acts are against the state apparatuses," he said.
Albertus said the police would charge the ringleader of the planned rally with violating Article 160 of Criminal Code (KUHP) on instigating people to fight against the government, which carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.