Selected postings from east-timor (reg.easttimor)

Subject: In West Papua, 41 Nabbed For Hoisting Morning Star Flag

The Jakarta Post Sunday, July 20, 2008

41 nabbed for hoisting flag

INDONESIA: Police have detained 41 people in Fakfak, 890 kilometers west of Jayapura, for allegedly hoisting the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag on Saturday.

Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto said three of detainees hoisted the flag in front of the former people's self-determination vote (Pepera) office. All 41 are former political prisoners.

Agus said police had seized the flag and several documents, written in a local dialect, as well as several sharp weapons as evidence.

"The police will conduct an investigation to obtain further information," he added.

Under Article 106 of the Criminal Code, the detainees can be charged for plotting a coup. The charge carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

The flag has long been a symbol of the region's separatist rebellion, with the Papuan Tribal Council urging the government to recognize the flag as a cultural symbol for Papuans.

Wilhelmina Woy, secretary of the council's Fakfak office, said the flag-raising had been engineered by other parties, and called on the police to arrest the real culprits and release the innocent detainees. -- JP

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