11 Jul 2007

14 Papuans questioned by Indonesian police over cultural flag-raising

8:05 pm on 11 July 2007

Indonesian Police have questioned 14 witnesses in connection with the unfurling of the Morning Star flag during the Papuan Tribal Congress last week.

The flag, which is a symbol of West Papuan independence, was used by traditional dancers in a ceremony during last week's four-day customary community meeting in Jayapura.

At the conclusion of the congress Police made eight arrests, and earlier this week brought more Papuans in for questioning over the flag-raising.

The Jakarta Post reports that they included two local government officials, a National Sports Committee official and members of the event's organising committee.

However lawmakers say the probe is questionable due to the fact former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid approved the use of the flag as a form of tribal identity and the approval is yet to be revoked.