Indonesia: more repression in West Papua

Even as the US moves to restore military ties with Indonesia, harsh repression continues in areas of the archipelago where indigenous peoples are fighting for sovereignty. This from Survival International, June 15:

INDONESIA: Fifteen years in prison for flying a flag
Two Papuan activists, Filep Karma and Yusuk Pakage, have been sentenced to 15 and 10 years in prison respectively for raising the Papuan flag on ‘Papuan independence day’, December 1st, 2004. For this ‘crime’ they were charged with ‘treason against the state’.

The sentences were much longer than the five years sought by the prosecutor – the court extended the jail terms because the two had been ‘hostile’ during the trial. Their detention and trial have already sparked protests by hundreds of Papuans which have been ruthlessly put down by police.

Thirty-four other Papuans have been detained under similar circumstances since 1998. Survival fears for the safety of the two men as torture and killings are commonplace in Papuan jails.

See our last report on Indonesia.