5 Jul 2007

Papuans petition Indonesia in London over jailing of flag activists

7:09 pm on 5 July 2007

Activists have visited Indonesia's Embassy in London to demand the release of two Papuans from jail in Indonesia for raising the Morning Star flag.

About 30 people organised by the Free West Papua Campaign and Amnesty International presented their demand to Embassy officials, saying they had the support of 8,000 signatures.

Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage are two years into 15 and 10 year respective sentences in Papua's Abepura prison for flying the flag which is a symbol of Papuan independence.

The campaign spokesman, Benny Wenda, says the prisoners have been subjected to abuse, including torture, and their lives are in danger.

"Yusak Pakage and Filep Karma [are experiencing] a lot of intimidation going on inside the cell. Also we heard that [the authorities] didn't give permission for them to go to hospital after being attacked. They were held and just kept, you know... We worry that they will die or something. That is why we went today."

Benny Wenda