There have been news and information circulated that Indonesian security officials, consisted of their military and police, had arrested and interrogated a Polish tourist for visiting West Papua. The question are what did truly happen and what is the real reason behind the capture? Here are the facts!
A police report describes Jakub Fabian Skrzypski as a journalist who was in contact with Papuan separatists. A military report also said he was detained several days ago in Papua province following the arrests of five Papuans who had a quantity of ammunition.
Skrzypski, a Polish tourist, is being investigated by the Papuan Regional Police investigators for visiting a separatist group at the central mountainous region of Papua. Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Martuani Sormin, who was met in Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya Regency, Tuesday (08/28/2018), said they were still carrying out intensive checks on the Polish tourist for violating the immigration laws.
“For complete information, I have not yet been able to explain in detail because the person in question is still undergoing inspection at the Papua Regional Police. Later, if there is evidence, we will convey it. The point is that the foreigner is still being investigated,” he said.
The said tourist is staying at the Papua Regional Police Headquarters in Jayapura City as for now. Information gathered from various sources said that the Papua Regional Police arrested Skrzypski for allegedly engaging in illegal acts in the Jayawijaya Regency area.
The Polish citizen, who usually lives in Switzerland, was previously secured in the Napua District on Saturday 25 August, when he was about to go to the tourist site of Lake Habema.
The foreign citizen was then brought into custody at the Jayawijaya Police Station but was eventually released. On Sunday 26 August, JF was again captured by the Jayawijaya Regional Police personnel at a hotel in Wamena along with five who were arrested at different places.
From the start, there was no such thing as restrictions for tourists to go to visit West Papua. Even Jakub Fabian Skrzypski could easily accessed the area. West Papua is the same like any other regions in Indonesia. It is open for tourists to enjoy and indulge themselves in the atmospheric beauty of West Papua.
According to sources from the Directorate General of Immigration and the Central Statistical Agency or BPS ( reprocessed by the Tourism Ministry), there has been a 3.47% increase of tourist growth visiting Papua from 56.724 in 2017 to 58.690 in 2018 (of months January-June). And from all of these numbers, none of which were arrested just because they visited the place. Papua and West Papua are famous for their natural beauty, culture, and other world-class tourism sites. No wonder that the number of tourists visit to the region is still increasing.
Hence, why did the Polish tourist get arrested? The answer is simply because he was involved in an illegal and potentially hostile activity with separatist groups. This is not the average crime. It was an act of felony that could threaten not only the security of the local community, but also national security as well.
Any news circulating the web regarding tourists prohibited to enter the West Papua region misunderstood the situation. The Polish tourist was only then arrested for his involvement in suspicious activity with the separatist group. Every tourists activity in Indonesia must be held accountable and this is also unwritten norm that is may as well reasonably accepted in all countries.
Antara. (2018 , August 28). Warga Polandia Diduga Jual Senjata Api di Pedalaman Papua. Retrieved from Okezone.com: https://news.okezone.com/read/2018/08/28/340/1942664/warga-polandia-diduga-jual-senjata-api-di-pedalaman-papua
Scislowska, M. (2018, August 29). Indonesia detains Polish man in conflict-prone Papua region. Retrieved from Beatrice Daily Sun: https://beatricedailysun.com/news/world/indonesia-detains-polish-man-in-conflict-prone-papua-region/article_b1257527-a7d1-5c35-9735-6687129b8600.html