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Flag raisers to go on trial in Manokwari

JUBI, 11 February 2011

Flag raisers to go on trial in Manokwari

Two Papuans are due to go on trial in Manokwari for raising the 14-star flag. The two men are Melkinus Bleskadit and Dance Bleskadit who, along with five others, raised flags on 14 December 2010. The documents regarding the two men were handed over by the police to the attorney’s office.

A lawyer acting for the two men, Yan Christian Warinussy, said that this is the second stage in the judicial process, following interrogation and bringing together other evidence.

‘The two men are now awaiting action on their case by the prosecutors who will present the charges against them,’ he said. He said that the two men were likely to be charged for treason – makar – and the lawyer hoped that the trial proceedings would commence as soon as possible.

Four others involved in the flag raising are Jhon Wena, 21, George
Rawiay, 20, Benha Supangha, 20, and Alex Duwen, 22. [The name of the fifth person was not mentioned .] The ages of the two men due to be formally charged were not given.

The seven men were arrested as they were commemorating the anniversary of the independence declaration of the West Melanesian Republic on 14 December 2010.

The five men are being held in police custody and are still undergoing
interrogation by the police.

Seven Papuan activists are now in jail of POLRES Manokwari for conducting peaceful demonstration and unfurling 14-star flag

The following news has been translated from Cahaya Papua daily
newspaper – Thursday 30 December 2010.
For further information about these activists please contact the cell
phone their lawyers:
Leonard Yarollo: +62 852 44553375
Jan Christian Warinussy: +62 81344694500

Title:
Melky Bleskadit and his Friends Rejects Signing the Letter of Transfer
to Public Prosecutor

Manokwari – Seven Papuan activists who were arrested and charged with
treason articles for the case of unfurling the 14-Star Flag on 14
December 2010 reject to sign the letter of transfer for their arrest
to public prosecutor.
One of the suspects who is now in the (jail) of Polres Manokwari,
Melky Bleskadit says that he does not want to sign the paper because
it is not procedural.
“We have been accompanied by our lawyer, so everything that is related
to legal process of us has to be done through our lawyer, Jan
Christian Warinussy,” he said to Cahaya Papua daily newspaper from
behind the iron bars.
The secretary general of the Council of the Committee for the
Preparation of the Proclamation of the Sovereignty and Independence of
West Melanesia said that until now since being arrested, he and his
friends have just been examined once which was the moment after they
had just been detained and brought to the office of the Indonesian
police in Manokwari.
Melky said that he was asked 38 questions related to his involvement
during their action on 14 December especially his action of unfurling
the 14-Star flag for the duration of around 10 seconds in front of the
mass while giving his oration.
Quoting his answer to the police, Melky rejects the accusation which
says that their action is an “aksi makar” or act of treason against
the government and sovereignty of NKRI (the unitary state of the
Republic of Indonesia). According to him, expressing his opinion is
the right of everybody which has been regulated in the Indonesian
constitution of UUD 1945 article 39 verses 17 and 18, Law No 9 year
1998, as well as Law No. 14 year 2008.
The handling of Papuan case, furthermore he says, has to be carried
out democratically by respecting values of humanity. In his opinion,
dialogue is the best way to respond and to find final solution to the
conflict between Papua and the NKRI.
Melky stated that the central government have used passive and
repressive approaches towards the Papuan people.
“Papuan people have democratic rights, so we deserve to be given space
for democracy. Don’t use repressive approach in solving the conflict,”
he said.
Melky and his friends have been in the detention room for 16 days
since the day when they were arrested. The room with the size of 5 x 8
meters is filled with Melky and his friends, together with 20 other
criminals.
He said that he had submitted a letter for requesting the postponement
of their arrest to chief of the Indonesian police of Manokwari regency
to celebrate Christmas with families but his effort has been rejected.