20 Mar 2008

West Papua National Authority fears Indonesian forces are rounding up more Papuans

11:23 am on 20 March 2008

The West Papua National Authority says it fears that Indonesian security forces are rounding up more Papuans involved in peaceful demonstrations since the beginning of March.

Four more men have been charged with rebellion and disturbing security in the Indonesian province.

And over the weekend nine fellow activists were charged with subversion after being arrested for flying the Morning Star flag.

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

The charged men are now reportedly in police custody in Jayapura

The arrests come amidst what the Authority and various human rights group say is a crackdown on all Papuans involved in political expression.

The Authority also claims that relatives of some of the charged activists are being harassed and threatened by Indonesian police.

It says other activist leaders are under threat from military action and have gone into hiding.