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Two Papuan activists charged with treason for flying Morning Star flag

September 1, 2019

Two Papuan activists charged with treason for flying Morning Star flag

CNN Indonesia – August 31, 2019

Papuan protesters fly Morning Star flag during rally at State Palace – August 28, 2019 (CNN)

Jakarta – On Friday August 30 the Metro Jaya regional police arrested two people on charges of treason (makar) for allegedly flying the Morning Star flag in front of the State Place during a rally on

Wednesday August 28.

The two arrested activists are Anes Tabuni and Charles Kossay. During the demonstration, Tabuni is accused of acting as the action coordinator, making the invitations, mobilising the protesters, preparing the flags and giving a speech from a command vehicle.

Kossay meanwhile is accused of acting as the action coordinator during a rally in East Jakarta and like Tabuni, of giving a speech from a command vehicle.

Metro Jaya public relations division head Senior Commissioner Argo Yuwono said that the two stand accused of committing crimes against the state and attempted treason. Tabuni and Kossay have been charged under Article 106 in conjunction with Article 87 and or Article 110 of the Criminal Code (KUHP).

“It is strongly suspected that they committed crimes against state security and or conspiring to commit crimes against state security and makar”, said Yuwono when sought for confirmation on Saturday August 31.

Despite this, Yuwono did not provide further details on the arrests.

During the arrests, police also secured evidence including two mobile phones, a banner, a T-shirt and a scarf with pictures of the Morning Star and a megaphone.

The arrest of Tabuni and Kossay has triggered a reaction by scores of Papuan and West Papuan activists who went to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters on Saturday afternoon.

They plan to surrender themselves to police as a form of solidarity with their two colleagues because they took part in the action jointly.

“Overnight we communicated with all of the groups from Papua and West Papua calling on them to gather [at the Metro Jaya headquarters], we will go there and surrender ourselves, we also took

part in the rally so please arrest us [too]”, said Papuan student public relations officer Ambosius.

Based on information from Ambosius, police arrested Tabuni and Kossay at around 7.30 pm when they were at the Lanijaya student dormitory in Depok.

Ambosius said that police had earlier interrogated 19 people before eventually taking Tabuni and Kossay to the Metro Jaya police headquarters. (gst/vws)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Pengibar Bintang Kejora di Depan Istana Dijerat Pasal Makar”.]



2) Gov’t Warns ‘Provocateurs’ to Stop Sowing Unrest in Papua


Jakarta. The government wants those responsible for provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua to immediately stop their actions, Chief Security Minister Wiranto said on Friday evening.

In a limited cabinet meeting on Friday evening, President Joko "Jokowi’ Widodo ordered law enforcement agencies to take firm action against provocateurs and anyone involved in damaging public facilities.

"I order you to protect and restore law and order to Papua and West Papua… We will not tolerate rioters and anarchists. I reiterate, the security services must act firmly against anyone involved in stoking any form of racial animosity," the president said.

Tensions have been boiling over in Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces since Aug. 19, after video footage of an incident in Surabaya, East Java, in which a mob shouted racial slurs at Papuan students, went viral on social media.

Thousands of people have since participated in rallies in several cities to protest prejudice and racial hatred against Papuans. Most of the rallies have turned violent, which saw angry mobs damaging public facilities and government buildings.

A rally Deiyai district, West Papua, earlier this week resulted in the deaths of two civilians and a soldier.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has been restricting internet access in the restive provinces to contain the spread of fake news and provocative content on social media.

The latest rally in Jayapura, the capital of Papua, on Thursday also turned violent when protesters set fire to vehicles, government offices and public facilities. An unknown group also severed the main fiber-optic cable operated by wireless telecommunications provider Telkomsel, resulting in a communications blackout in many parts of the city.

Warning to Provocateurs

However, Wiranto said the president had also called on the security forces to avoid a hard-handed approach in dealing with the unrest.

"Actually, these riots are stoked [by provocateurs]. There are provocateurs who are deliberately trying to cause unrest… We know they are trying to benefit from the situation… We warn them; we know who they are … stop it, because it will only create instability," the minister said.

"I don’t want to mention [their names], but I ask them to stop, because [their actions] are really harming the national interest," the retired Army general said.

He said 10 rifles belonging to the military were stolen in the violent incident in Deiyai, but that the community had since been persuaded to return it.

Wiranto expressed hope that the people of Papua would no longer allow themselves to be provoked into damaging public facilities that had been built with their money.

"It is easy to damage them, but hard to build," he said.

President Jokowi expressed his belief that the people of Papua love peace and Indonesia. He also called on all government institutions to continue serving the people of Papua and West Papua.

The situation in Jayapura returned to normal by Saturday.

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