Subject: Two charged in Indonesia for raising Papua flag: police

Two charged in Indonesia for raising Papua flag: police

JAKARTA, Sept 25 (AFP) -- Two Papuans are facing life in prison
for plotting against the Indonesian state after they raised an
outlawed separatist flag earlier this week, police said Thursday.

The men were among 18 people arrested early Tuesday after a
"Free Papua" flag was unfurled in Kwamki Baru village in Papua
province's Mimika district.

"The two who have been named as suspects were those who hoisted
the flag," provincial police chief Bagus Eko Danto told AFP.

The other 16 detainees are in custody pending further
investigations, he said. Police seized weapons, including dozens
of bows and arrows and 10 air rifles, from homes in the village.

Anyone convicted of displaying separatist symbols faces life in
prison in Indonesia, a vast archipelago which plagued by
secessionist rebellions.

Indonesia won sovereignty over Papua, a former Dutch colony in
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 complain that Jakarta is only interested in
exploiting the province's abundant natural resources and accuse
Indonesia's military of abusing communities living near foreign
mining interests.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have urged Indonesia
to release two other Papuans, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, who
were sentenced to 10 and 15 years respectively in 2005 for
raising the separatist Morning Star flag.

Forty members of US Congress wrote a letter to Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in August demanding their
immediate release.


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