Arrests after Papua Separatist Flag Raised
TIMIKA ~ Eighteen men have been arrested after an outlawed separatist flag was raised in the Papua province, police said on Tuesday.
Local police chief Jasim Hoda said several people unfurled the “Free Papua” flag early Tuesday in front of a house in Kwamki Baru village in Mimika district.
Police raided houses in the neighborhood and found weapons including dozens of bows and arrows and 10 air rifles.
“The 18 people arrested are all men. We still have to conduct further investigations before naming anyone we suspect of plotting against the state,” Hoda told reporters.
Anyone convicted of displaying separatist symbols faces life in prison in Indonesia, which as a history of secessionist rebellions.
Papuans have long accused Indonesia’s military of violating human rights in the province and complain that the bulk of earnings from its rich natural resources flow to Jakarta.