26 May 2005

Pro-independence activist in Papua jailed for 15 years for treason

8:04 pm on 26 May 2005

An Indonesian district court in Papua has handed down a 15-year sentence to a pro-independence activist accused of treason for hoisting an outlawed flag.

The Abepura District Court found activist Filep Karma guilty of treason for assisting in the raising of the separatist Morning Star flag last December.

The court also ordered that Karma be sacked from his position as a civil servant.

A court hearing is continuing for another suspect, Yusack Pakage, also charged with treason over the same incident.

Karma and Pakage were arrested last December for leading the flag raising ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of Papua's independence.

Clashes between pro-independence supporters and police officers after a court hearing this month left dozens of people wounded, including at least 10 policemen.