Indonesia detains hundreds demanding release of prisoners

A rights activist says Indonesian police detained more than 300 demonstrators who were demanding the release of political prisoners in restive Papua province.

Veronica Koman of the Jakarta-based Indonesian Legal Aid Institute said a total of 336 demonstrators were detained Tuesday during the peaceful demonstrations.

She said the protests occurred in the towns of Sentani and Wamena, and in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi.

Local police spokesman Lt. Col. Patridge Renwarin confirmed only that rallies took place in Sentani and Wamena. He said a total of 207 demonstrators were interrogated before being released in the two towns.

A low-level insurgency for an independent Papua has continued since the region was transferred from Dutch to Indonesian rule in the 1960s.