As West Papuan national flag day approaches (1st December), the Indonesian security forces are ready to clamp down on anybody who attempts to raise the Morning Star flag in West Papua.
It was reported in Tempo Interactive that the Indonesian Armed Forces would intensify patrols near the border with Papua New Guinea before 1st December in areas where the OPM are believed to operate.
The Head of the Papua Regional Police, General Bekto Suprapto, also said that “ he had increased frequency of patrols before December 1. He explained that the patrols were to prevent possible actions by certain people who wish to create negative situations”.
Joe Collins of AWPA questions, why are the security forces so afraid of a flag? Why are there large numbers of political prisoners in jails because they simply took part in rallies where the morning Star flag was raised? If Indonesia really wants the international community to believe that it is a democracy, then it has to stop arresting people for simply taking part in peaceful rallies where they are just trying to bring attention to the injustices they are suffering under Indonesian rule.
The Indonesian Government should immediately release all West Papuan political prisoners and start a dialogue with representatives of the West Papuan people.
It is hoped that the international community and in particular the media, focuses on West Papua leading up to and after the 1st December as away of deterring any crack down on the West Papuan people by the security forces.