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Indonesian police have arrested Victor Yeimo in connection with a suspected robbery | News in Indonesia

Police in Papua have accused an independent leader of plotting to overthrow the government and of being the “leader” of the 2019 riots.

Indonesian authorities have arrested the country’s independent papal leader Victor Yeimo, police spokesman said, accusing him of inciting serious riots for decades in 2019.

Yeimo, a spokesman for the West Papua National Committee, was arrested Sunday in the Jayapura provincial capital and is being questioned, Iqbal Alqudusy told Reuters news agency on Monday.

Police accuse the 38-year-old of being the “instigator” of protests that began in 2019 and conspiracy, as well as inciting violence and riots, insulting the national flag and music, and carrying weapons without a license.

His arrest comes amid widespread unrest in the eastern part of Indonesia, with President Joko Widodo demanding action after a madman was shot dead late last month.

Emanuel Gobay, a member of the Papuan group of lawyers representing Yeimo, said his client had not been charged.

The plot revolves around a life sentence.

2019 demonstrations

Protests disrupted the Indonesian territories of Papua and West Papua, on the island of New Guinea – known as Papua – for several weeks in August 2019.

The riots that sometimes take place after the group insults students in Papua in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second city on the island of Java, by various ethnic groups, calling them “monkeys”, accusing them of defaming the national flag.

The 2019 demonstrations also encouraged the people to become independent from Indonesia.

Papuan separatists have been pushing for their rights for years, saying the 1969 United Nations-led vote that brought the region into Indonesia’s control was invalid.

Indonesia denies allegations.

In a statement that shocked Indonesian activists, Indonesia’s top security minister has announced that Papuan gunmen may become “terrorists”, and will be prosecuted under the anti-terrorism law.

Yeimo’s arrest could also make it possible, says Indonesian lawyer Veronica Koman.

“Ever since they heard about his arrest, many West Papuans have already announced that they will take to the streets to demand their release,” he said.

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