Bintang Papua, 27 June 2012
The OPM’s general coordinator, Lambert Pekikir has announced that three regions in Papua are ready to fly the Morning Star flag on 1 July, the anniversary of the OPM’s military wing, the TPN.
The flag flying will last for three days, along with fireworks. He said that the three regions are Wamena, Keerom and Yapen Waropen. People in Wamena are from the mountains, the people Yapen Waropen are coastal people, while those from valleys and lowland areas live in Keerom.
OPM troops along with civilian sympathisers will take part in the flag-flying. ‘There will be ceremonies as well, attended by the general public and those struggling for an independent Papua.
‘Our military forces are well prepared for these events and if the TNI and police respond with violence, we are ready,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the police have issued an ultimatum urging that there is no flag flying. ‘The Morning Star flag is not a flag of the Indonesian Republic or a regional symbol, and anyone who unfurls that flag anywhere in Papua will be seen as having violated the law and will face the consequences in accord with the laws in force in Indonesia.’
The army spokesman, Yohannes Nugroho Wicaksono called on people not to fly the flag. ‘In the interest of security and order throughout the area of Papua, we urging people not to be provoked by those who are planning this event.’
Activities undertaken by the police in anticipation of the flag flying on 1 July include intensifying police patrols and sweepings in all police regions. He said that the police have been ordered to act professionally.’
The chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, the Papuan legislative assembly, Ruben Magai, has called on all the people not to be provoked by unnecessary issues in advance of the TPN anniversary. He hoped that people will continue to engage in their everyday activities, while calling on the security forces not to use violence. ‘The persuasive approach must be prioritised. The best thing would be for all those concerned to sit down and talk, to as to find out what each sides wants.
[Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL]
JUBI, 19 August 2011
Melkianus Bleskadit was sentenced yesterday in Manokwari court to two
years for his role when the 14-star flag was raised.
A day earlier, the prosecutor asked for him to be sentenced to five
years. The prosecutor has announced that he will mount an appeal against
In a report made public by the human rights lawyer Yan Christian
Warimnussy it was stated that Melkianus was arrested along with Dance
Yenu for flying the 14-star flag to mark the anniversary of independence
for ‘West Melanesia ‘ on 14 December 2010.
In a comment on the verdict, Yan Christian Warinussy who was also a
member of the defence team, said that while the judges had taken a good
decision by limiting the punishment to the criminal element of the
incident, indicating that he was not willing to go as far as the
prosecutor, in the end his client had been given a much higher sentence.
According to past experience involving the case of Jacob Wanggai and his
colleagues, the judges had passed a shorter sentence which was
subsequently increased at the request of the prosecutor, resulting in a
far higher sentence.
He also said that the defendant had been held in a cell of the Manokwari
prosecutor at the Manokwari prison in breach of the law. He said that
both the judge as well as the chief prosecutor had obstructed his
client’s release to the moment when the high court judge could decide on
extending the period of the appeals detention which should have ended
on 19 August.
The three hours of freedom that his client should have enjoyed had been
denied him by the decisions of the prosecutor and the judge. Moreover,
there was a show of force when a company of police security officers as
well special intelligence personnel stood on guard round Bleskadit at
the office of the prosecutor. He said that the the lack of
professionalism by both of these institutions had resulted in his client
being deprived of his basic rights.
According to two reports in the tabloid, JUBI on 16 June 2011, there are seven Papuans currently on trial on charges of makar – subversion. In all these cases, the allegations relate to their participation in an event to commemorate the anniversary of the independence of the West Melanesian Republic on 14 December 2010 and their holding aloft the 14-star flag of the West Melanesian Republic. [This is not the Morning Star flag – the kejora – which is also frequently unfurled at peaceful demonstrations in Papua and has landed numerous Papuans in prison over many years.]
The first report relates to the trial of five students of UNIPA – State University of Papua. The five students are Jhon Raweyai, Yance Sekenyap, Penehas Sorongan, Alex Duwiri and Jhon Wilson Wader, whose ordeal in court has now entered its second hearing.
At this hearing, the defendants and their team of lawyers were given the opportunity to submit their demurrers challenging the court’s right to proceed with the trial. Their lawyer Simon Riziard Banundi said that he had submitted two demurrers as the five students were being tried in two groups.
The trial of the two other Papuans on charges of subversion was unable to proceed because three expert witnesses who had been called by the prosecution had failed to appear as promised. These two men, Melkianus Bleskadit and Dance Yenu are also being defended by Simon Riziard Banundi. Banundi sought clarification at the hearing about whether indeed the witnesses had been summoned as the prosecutors had failed to present copies of the summons sent to them. One of the witnesses was said to be ill while no explanation was given about the absence of the other two.