Manokwari. Police in Indonesia’s restive Papua region arrested a Czech tourist Wednesday for taking photos of a pro-independence demonstration, district police said.
Petr Zamecnik, 35, was detained in the town of Manokwari, around 400 kilometers east of the popular Raja Ampat diving site in West Papua province, Manokwari police chief Agustinus Supriyanto told AFP.
“We questioned him because his travel permit lists him as a tourist. He has now been handed over to immigration,” Supriyanto said.
“Zamecnik was supposed to go on a holiday to Raja Ampat but he was found taking pictures of a protest instead.”
Around 100 ethnic Melanesian Papuans marched to the governor’s building Wednesday afternoon yelling “Free Papua, we are not Indonesians”, carrying a banner showing the outlawed Papuan Morning Star separatist symbol.
Indonesia imposes strict visa regulations on foreign visitors to Papua and tight restrictions on foreign journalists looking to report from the region.
Jakarta annexed Papua in 1969 in a self-determination referendum widely seen as rigged and continues to keep a tight grip on the region through its military and police to quell a decades-long insurgency by poorly armed rebels.
In 2010, two French journalists were deported from Papua for filming a peaceful demonstration outside government-approved areas.