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Police in Papua Warned of Illegal Visit by Freedom Flotilla

JAYAPURA CITY - All police units in Papua have been warned of possible illegal visit by foreign vessels carrying activists campaigning for free Papua.

"All units in areas bordering with the sea must watch out against illegal visits by foreign vessels," chief spokesman of the Papua regional police Sr. Comr. I Gde Sumerta Jaya said here on Friday.

The instruction followed reports that  around 50 Papuan and Australian activists will land on Papua coast early September with three sailing vessels, called Freedom Flotila.

"If the group entered the Indonesia sea territory , certainly they would be asked about their documents such as visa and passports," Sumerta said.

They would be detained if they failed to show the proper documents, he added. He said police would continue to coordinate with relevant agencies such as the immigration office .

Meanwhile, Commodore I.G. Putu Wijamahaadi, chief of Papua regional navy command, said the navy will continue with  routine operation with three ships .

"In routine operations we use three ships such as  KRI Slamet Riyadi  and  KRI Sultan Nuku in Merauke  and other parts of our sea territory," Putu Wijamahaadi said here on Friday.

He said he believed Freedom Flotilla will stay in international waters 12 miles off Indonesian coasts. "However, if the ships chose to enter the Indonesian waters, violating the international law on the sea, the navy would act accordingly in line with the law," he added.

He said Indonesia is a big archipelago having international routes, adding foreign ships are allowed to sail through the routes, but there are certain regulations they have to comply with.

"They may not stop until they are outside our sea territory. They may not make a maneuver or activities as long as they are in our part of the route," he added. [Antara]


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