24 Oct 2011

Six face treason charges over Papuan Congress

9:11 am on 24 October 2011

Police in Indonesia have announced that six Papuans have been charged with treason and were indicted following the third Papuan People's Congress, which was forcefully dispersed by police.

The Jakarta Post says the suspects were identified only by their initials.

Among them are Forkorus Yaboisembut and Edison Waromi, whom the Congress proclaimed as President and Prime Minister respectively of an independent state.

Police say Papua is a part of Indonesia and any attempt to secede from the country is against the law.

Security forces broke up the Congress and six people reportedly died in connection with altercations surrounding the events.

The police and the military decided to disperse the gathering after the participants hoisted the Morning Star flag - a symbol of the Papua independence movement, which is banned.