Markus Yenu, a human rights activist and the Executive Governor of the West Papua National Authority (WPNA) District 2 of Manokwari, was arrested on 6 March 2013 by the Manokwari Criminal Police Unit. Yenu, along with Eliaezer Awom and Jhon Warijo was reportedly charged with treason in relation to their involvement in a peaceful demonstration on 17 January 2013, where the Morning Star flag was flown, and a meeting of the National Coalition of Young Papuans (Komite Nasional Pemudah Papua, KNPP), which took place between 31 January and 2 February 2013.
While in detention Yenu was interrogated about the peaceful demonstration on 17 January and was informed by the police that they had received sufficient evidence against him from eight witnesses for the proceedings to go ahead. He was also reportedly visited by the former Chief of Police in 2008 and current Director of the Papuan Police Intelligence, Yakobus Marzuki, who claimed that there was evidence proving his involvement in provoking acts of arson and destruction on 5 December 2012 following the shooting of political prisoner Thimotius Ap. According to Yenu, police allegedly indicated that four others, Frans Kapisa, Billy Auparay, Ottow Rumaseb and Zeth Wambrauw, alongside Jakobus Wanggai and Eliaezer Awom, were also identified as suspects. Despite the allegations made onto him, a local source reported his release the same day.
Local human rights sources report that there have been renewed attempts to arrest Yenu. On 29 April 2013, Jayapura police raided the Mamberamo university dormitory in Jayapura, allegedly with the intention of arresting Yenu, but did not conduct the arrest as they lacked any basis for arrest. On 1 May, police moved to arrest him during a commemorative march of the annexation of Papua by Indonesia in Jayapura, but protestors positioned themselves between Yenu and the police, allowing him to disappear into the crowd. It is believed that he is now in hiding.
Radar Papua, “Polres Manokwari Resmi Panggil 15 Aktivis Papus,” 19 February 2013, http://radarpapua.com/index.php/2012-10-09-14-56-15/manokwari/1529-polresmnokwari-resmi-panggil-15-aktivis-papua
West Papua Media, “Police question Papuan leader over peaceful demo ‘treason’,” 6 March 2013, http://westpapuamedia.info/2013/03/10/police-question-papuan-leader-over-peaceful-demo-treason/
West Papua Media, “Testimony of Markus Yenu of his arrest and interrogation,” 7 March 2013, http://westpapuamedia.info/2013/03/12/testimony-of-markus-yenu-of-his-arrest-and-interrogation/
The Fiji Times, “Deaths mark 50 years of West Papua occupation,” 8 May 2013, http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=233299