2 Dec 2005

Papuans threatened with Indonesian subversion charges for peaceful celebrations

3:28 pm on 2 December 2005

The Indonesia Human Rights group TAPOL claims that the Police chief in Papua province has threatened to charge anyone marking Papua's national commemorations under anti-subversion law.

TAPOL has obtained a copy of a confidential directive issued by the Chief of Police, Dr D.S. Sumantyawan, that threatens anyone engaged in peaceful activities on a number of commemorative occasions in November and December with charges under Indonesia's draconian anti-subversion law.

A closely coordinated operation is being run by Indonesian police in the towns and the Indonesian army in the countryside which could lead to a number of arrests.

According to the directive - sent in a telegram to all police commands in the territory - the police are acting within the framework of an operation called Mambruk II 2005.

It was under a previous, similar operation that two Papuans, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were arrested for raising a Papuan flag in the capital, Jayapura on Papua's self-declared independence anniversary - December 1st - in 2004.

They are now serving sentences of fifteen and ten years imprisonment respectively.