West Papuans protest against Indonesian rule in Jakarta

West Papua
West Papuan student activists are hit by a jet of a water from a water canon during clashes with Indonesian police in Jakarta, Indonesia, 01 December 2016. Source: AAP

Dozens of West Papuan protesters calling for the region's independence have been detained after clashing with police in Jakarta.

West Papuan protesters have faced off with police in the Indonesian capital while calling for the remote region's independence.

Organisers had promised protests in other cities and said on Thursday police had denied them permission to march in central Jakarta.

The dozens of demonstrators were blocked from marching on to a busy traffic circle in the capital by several hundred police, who fired water cannons and dragged several men from the crowd into waiting police vans.

After about three hours, they agreed to end the protest and were detained by police.

West Papua
A West Papuan protester shouts slogans as he and others are taken away on a police truck during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (AAP)

"Don't hinder our right to voice our aspirations. Papuans are demanding the truth of our history," a speaker standing on a small truck shouted at the crowd.

Members of the Papua Students Alliance chanted "Freedom Papua" and others sang independence songs.

Rights groups accuse the Indonesian military of serious human rights abuses in Papua and some Melanesian island states have also voiced concerns and called for Papuan independence.

Many West Papuans see December 1 as the anniversary of what should have been their independence.

The Dutch colonisers of the Indonesian archipelago held onto West Papua when Indonesia became independent after World War II.

It became part of Indonesia following a UN-supervised referendum in 1969.

A low-level insurgency has plagued the mineral-rich region, which is ethnically and culturally distinct from much of Indonesia, for years.

Source: AAP