Indonesian police charge 8 Papuan youths with “treason” for stealing Morning Star
By Dhias Suwandi in Jayapura
Eight youths were declared suspects on charges of makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) for having raised the forbidden flag of Papuan independence The morning star at the Cenderawasih sports center in the capital Jayapura this week on December 1.
The The morning star is a symbol used as a flag by the Papua Free Organization (OPM) and most civil society organizations.
They were identified by their initials MSY, YM, MY, MK, BM, FK, MP, and MW – mostly college students.
Flag raising protests across the world were held in solidarity with West Papua’s calls for self-determination.
Flag-raising commemorations marked the 60th anniversary of West Papua’s declaration of independence from Dutch colonial rule in 1961.
The Cenderawasih Sports Center flag-raising incident took place on Wednesday afternoon. Before staging the action, on November 30, the eight youths held a meeting in the vicinity of Asmara Maro, according to police reports.
The meeting was reportedly chaired by MY alias M who acted as the leader of the action and the flag-raiser. MY also made the flag and banner later worn by the suspects.
Planned parliamentary march
After hoisting the flag above the Cendrawasih Sports Center (GOR), the young people planned to march to the Papua Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).
The head of the public relations division of the Papua Regional Police, Senior Commissioner AM Kamal, explained that seven of the young people were tasked with flying the flag and marching to the headquarters of the Papua Regional Police (Mapolda) while carrying a banner with the The morning star drawn on it.
The eighth person was responsible for documenting the action and disseminating it on social networks.
The eight persons were charged under Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with Article 110 of the KUHP in conjunction with Article 87 of the KUHP with “conspiracy to commit crimes against the state security â.
“Currently, the eight suspects are being held at the Papua Mapolda detention center for further judicial treatment,” Kamal said.
Amnesty International review
Amnesty International on Friday criticized the arrests, among 34 detentions this week, of Papuan protesters, as well as 19 injuries sustained during protests elsewhere in Indonesia.
âNo one should be detained just for peacefully expressing their political views,â said Usman Hamid, Amnesty Director for Indonesia. news agency reports said.
Police did not immediately respond to media requests for comment on Amnesty’s statement.
In June 2020, Indonesia sentenced to prison seven Papuans for treason, while Papuan independence figure Filep Karma spent 11 years in prison after publicly hoisting the banned flag. He was released in 2015.
In Ambon, Moluccas, Beritabeta Reports that a protest by dozens of Papuan students marking Independence Day ended in chaos after being forcibly dispersed by police.
The Papuan students, who are continuing their studies in Ambon, refused to accept the actions of the police and fought back.
Police eventually managed to push back the protesters, who were wearing clothes and accessories with the The morning star flag on them.
Ambon and the head of the public relations division of the Ambon Islands municipal police, the second police inspector Izaac Leatemia, told reporters the protest was halted because the protesters did not have police clearance .
Attacked by vigilantes
In the Balinese provincial capital of Denpasar, a protest by the Bali City Committee Papua Student Alliance (AMP-KKB) and the Indonesian Popular Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) ended in a clash with a vigilante group called the Nusantara Garuda Patriots (PGN), reports Detik.com.
AMP-KKB said 12 of its members were injured in the clash.
âAccording to our data from the AMP, there were 12 of our comrades (who suffered injuries). Some were kicked by the PGN, then there were comrades who were hit by stones, âsaid Yesaya Gobay, president of AMP-KKB.
Translated by James Balowski for IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “Kibarkan Bendera Bintang Kejora di Sebelah Polda Papua, 8 Pemuda di Jayapura Jadi Tersangka Makar”.