2 Dec 2003

Indonesian security forces interrupt Papuan flag raising ceremony in Sentani

11:33 am on 2 December 2003

Indonesian police and military have taken down the banned Papuan Morning Star flag raised to celebrate the West Papuan independence proclamation.

The flag hoisting was held at the house of the late leader of the Papuan Presidium Council, Theys Eluay.

The police interrupted the commemoration to raise the Indonesian flag next to the Morning Star flag.

The Papuan leader, Willy Mandowen, says the Indonesians then decided to remove the Papuans' flag.

"This combination of police and military came and forced to lower the Morning Star flag but they ignored it. They continued to praise the Lord, singing and praying for the day."