Dhias Suwandi, Jayapura – Police have arrested seven youths – along with an eighth who recorded the action – who raised the Morning Star flag on the grounds of the Cenderawasih Sports Centre (GOR) in Jayapura city on Wednesday December 1.
The Cenderawasih Sports Centre is located next the Papua regional police headquarters.
The Morning Star is a symbol used by the Free Papua Organisation (OPM). As a consequence of the incident, the Papua regional police have detained the eight people involved in the action.
"Earlier this afternoon at 1.28 pm, eight youths were arrested by Papua regional police members after raising [the Morning Star] flag at the Cenderawasih GOR", said Papua regional police spokesperson Senior Commissioner AM Kamal in Jayapura on Wednesday.
In addition to raising the Morning Star flag, the youths also marched past the Papua regional police headquarters. "As they pasted they gave speeches about Papuan independence", said Kamal.
Seven of the eight youths were tasked with raising the flag and marching towards the Papua police headquarters carrying a banner with the Morning Star drawn on it. The eighth person meanwhile was tasked with documenting and sharing the action.
The eight youths, several of which are students, are currently being detained and are still undergoing questioned at the Papua regional police.
"We will wait and see and conduct a follow up examination on what they did and then we will look into and synchronies that information", said Kamal.
In relation to the general situation in Papua on December 1 this year, which is considered to the anniversary of the OPM, Kamal admitted that there were several incidents of the Morning Star flag being raised at different locations.
"Flag raisings occurred in Jayapura, Kiwirok (Bintang Mountains), Intan Jaya and Yapen", he said.
Despite this, he confirmed that the security situation was favourable without there being any significant actions. "The raised [the flag] then took it down again", said Kamal.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Bendera Bintang Kejora Berkibar di Samping Polda Papua, 8 Pemuda Ditangkap".]