12 Jul 2007

Claims TNI directing Morning Star clamp down in Papua

7:28 pm on 12 July 2007

The mediator of the Papuan Presidium Council says a police investigation into a flag-raising incident last week has been directed by the Indonesian military.

Willie Mandowen is one of several traditional Papuan leaders ordered to appear at the police headquarters in Jayapura for questioning over the unfurling of the Morning Star flag during the Papuan Tribal Congress last week.

The flag of West Papuan independence was used by traditional dancers in the opening ceremony for last week's four-day meeting in Jayapura.

Mr Mandowen says the military doesn't seem to respect the fact that raising the Morning Star flag is allowed by law.

"The military is controlling all affairs in Papua. One of the police officials said that they wouldn't do the investigation if not commanded to by the military, the TNI in Papua. So they use all this overlapping policies, words and actions just to take down the detail, call them to come to the police - it's very frustrating and intimidating."

Indonesian Police have questioned at least 14 Papuans in connection with the flag-raising.