Police seize OPM flags after Papuan student dormitory besieged by nationalist group

CNN Indonesia – July 5, 2024
Police secure area in front of Papuan student dormitory in Makassar – July 5, 2024 (CNN)

Makassar – Police have admitted to seizing Free Papua Organisation (OPM) flags from a Papua student dormitory in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

"We have conducted a seizure of Morning Star flags at the dormitory", said Makassar Metropolitan District Police Chief (Kapolrestabes) Senior Commissioner Mokhamad Ngajib when sought for confirmation on Friday July 5.

Ngajib said that after a video of the flags being raised went viral, several people from the ormas (social or mass organisation) Nusantara National Defense Guard (GBNN) surrounded the Papuan student dormitory as the location of the alleged Morning Star flag raising.

"Praise be to Allah the action by our friends from the ormas GBNN proceeded smoothly last night", he said.

Nevertheless, said Ngajib, the police have asked students from Papua who are living in Makassar not to fly the OPM flag in order to maintain a conducive situation in Makassar.

"We have asked them not to act in a way that violates prevailing regulations where they live in Makassar city and Indonesia. They accepted this, right" he concluded.

Earlier on Thursday July 4, a group of Papuan students raised three Morning Star independence flags at the Papuan student dormitory on Jalan Lanto Daeng Pasewang in Makassar.

Based on CNN Indonesia's observations at the location, a number of people then surrounded the Papuan student dormitory at around 11 pm in order to find and remove the OPM flags.

"Take the evidence, commander, it's inside, the OPM flag", said GBNN action coordinator Adhi.

Adhi emphasised that anyone who flies the Morning Star flag must be fighting against the Indonesian people, because no flag is to be raised other than Indonesia's red-and-white national flag.

"Three Morning Star flags were flying which went viral on TikTok and in the name of the [Free] Papuan Organisation (OPM) Makassar. If we don't find just one of the three flags, then we will spend the night here", he stressed.

After surrounding the Papuan student dormitory for almost two hours, on Friday July 5 at around 1.20 am the crowd left the location but threatened to return until the students who flew the OPM flag are arrested. (mir/DAL)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Bendera OPM Disita Usai Asrama Mahasiswa Papua di Makassar Dikepung".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20240705173444-12-1118087/bendera-opm-disita-usai-asrama-mahasiswa-papua-di-makassar-dikepung