12 Jul 2007

Papuan leader to be questioned by Indonesian police over flag incident

3:39 pm on 12 July 2007

The mediator of the Papuan Presidium Council says he has been invited to the Indonesian police headquarters in Jayapura for questioning over a flag-raising incident.

Willie Mandowen is one of several Papuan leaders that Indonesian police have turned their attention to in connection with the unfurling of the Morning Star flag during the Papuan Tribal Congress last week.

The flag, which is a banned symbol of West Papuan independence, was used by traditional dancers in the opening ceremony for last week's four-day meeting in Jayapura.

Mr Mandowen says he left town shortly after the ceremony and has only just learnt about the ongoing questioning.

"So it's going on in Jayapura. My friends went down for investigations, except for myself and others who were out of town, and I'm still out of town, from [taking up] the invitation to talk to the congressman Faleomavaega in Jakarta. Tomorrow I'll go back. I don't know what would happen: whether they would arrest me because I didn't reply to the first invitation as they told me which I haven't received from them."

Indonesian Police have questioned at least 14 Papuans in connection with the flag-raising.