18 Mar 2008

Nine Papuans to face trial for flag-raising at peaceful demo

8:40 pm on 18 March 2008

Indonesian police have confirmed that nine men arrested at a student protest in the province of Papua last week will face trial on charges of plotting against the state.

They were jailed after flying the Papuan Morning Star flag during a protest against Special Autonomy.

The arrests came under a 2007 law banning the display of separatist symbols, including flags, in Papua.

National police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira said the nine had unfurled the outlawed separatist "Free Papua" flag during the March 13 rally.

Several people from the same district are also awaiting trial for unfurling the flag during a recent welcoming ceremony for Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.