Indonesian priest detained during crackdown on Papua separatists
A Catholic priest was detained by Indonesian police, along with four other local leaders, on suspicion of separatist activities in the eastern province of Papua, the state-run Antara news agency reported on Tuesday.
Catholic World News reports that Fr Herman Awom and four others were detained on Monday night in the West Papuan capital Jayapura following a pledge by the government to crack down on separatist activity that has recently flared in the province. Police have detained a number of independence leaders since last week's 39th anniversary of Papua's declaration of independence.
Under Indonesian law, people found guilty of separatist activities can be put to death. In Jakarta, Indonesian Police Chief Gen. Bimantoro said that police will continue to process their cases in accordance with Indonesian law. "They are not going to be freed," he said, adding police have collected "strong evidence" of their illegal activities.