Nine held for flying banned flag in Indonesian Papua
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Last Updated: Sunday, November 21, 2010, 12:17
Jayapura: Nine people have been arrested after an outlawed separatist flag was raised in Indonesia's remote Papua province, police said on Sunday.

Eight men and a woman from the West Papua Revolutionary Army, the militant wing of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM), unfurled the banned "Morning Star" flag on Saturday in a village in Jayawijaya district, local police chief I Gede Sumerta Jaya said.

"We arrested nine people and they're being investigated. They had raised the Morning Star flag. We found the flag and a wooden pole," he said.

"They're likely to be named suspects on charges of plotting against the state," he added.

Anyone convicted of displaying separatist symbols faces possible life sentence in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago with a history of secessionist rebellions.

Indonesia won sovereignty over Papua, a former Dutch colony on the western half of New Guinea island, in 1969 after a vote among a select group of Papuans widely seen as a sham.

Many Papuans accuse Indonesia's military of violating human rights in the province and complain that the bulk of earnings from its rich natural resources flow to Jakarta.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, November 21, 2010, 12:17

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