West Papua flag to mark Independece Day

Published: Thu 29 Nov 2007 02:18 PM
Indonesia Human Rights Committee
PO Box 68419
28 November, 2007
Media Release:
West Papua flag to be raised to mark Independence Day and a Seminar on Human Rights in ASEAN will follow
December 1, is the day West Papuan people mark their “Independence Day”.  It is the anniversary of the day in 1961, when the process of decolonisation from Dutch rule had begun and the people first raised their own flag and sang their own anthem.  Around the world the day is marked with symbolic flag raising events, but now in Indonesian controlled West Papua the raising of the “Morning Star” is a banned activity and those that defy the ban risk lengthy imprisonment. On 1 December 2004,  Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were arrested after  organizing a  peaceful celebration and they are now serving sentences of  fifteen years ten years respectively. They are both Amnesty International prisoners of conscience.
The Indonesia Human Rights Committee plans to mark the day with a Human Rights seminar looking at parallels in the human rights problems of West Papua, The Philippines Aotearoa and Burma.  Titled “Human Rights and ASEAN: West Papua, The Philippines Burma and Aotearoa” the seminar will be addressed by several speakers including Keith Locke, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Green Party and Naing Ko Ko a leader of the Burmese pro-democracy movement in Aotearoa.
The seminar will be held at the St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby: 3-30 – 6 pm  1 December, 2007
The seminar will be proceeded by a symbolic flag raising outside the Army Headquarters, Great North Rd  Grey Lynn.  The location highlights the IHRC’s opposition to New Zealand’s restoration of military ties with Indonesia.

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