3 Jul 2007

OPM says it will continue flag-raising campaign despite Indonesian crackdown

10:25 am on 3 July 2007

The Free Papua Movement, the OPM, and its aligned group, the TPN, say they will continue a Morning Star flag-raising campaign despite an Indonesian security forces crackdown.

The Indonesian military, the TNI, and police have declared a state of emergency in the Wamena area of Papua province until Wednesday, forbidding the independence flag to be raised.

While the flag is officially allowed to be displayed under the Special Autonomy law, flag raisings are routinely suppressed by the security forces.

Yesterday the TNI started shooting in villages in Bolakme when the flag was raised.

However, an OPM/TPN spokesman, Jonah Wenda, says they intend to continue their campaign, despite other Papuans previously being jailed for raising the Morning Star.

"Philip Karma and Joseph Pakage in Jayapura, they were put in jail for 15 and 10 years, and that's why TNI and the police, they don't want to let this thing happen again. That's why they're put in place the state of emergency to stop any activities for raising the flag."