Tomas Nimbitkendik (born 1989) is a farmer from Fak-Fak. He was arrested on 19th July 2008 at a flag raising event outside the Pepera building in Fak-Fak, West Papua province. A report of the incident from Elsham Papua relates how after the flag was flown for two minutes, the police rounded-up 35 people and took them to the police station. There they were threatened, hit with sticks, and some were kicked by jackboots. The men were forced to strip to their underwear. Another eleven people were also arrested and brought to the police station later. Then, responding to the arrests, Tadeus Weripang and Simon Tuturop came to the police station to claim that they were the ones responsible for the flag-raisings.
Eventually most of the 46 people arrested were released, but nine were held in prison awaiting trial. Six of the accused, including Mr Nimbitkendik, faced charges of treason (clauses 106 and 110 of the Indonesian criminal code), and three were charged with the lesser offence of carrying weapons, in the form of traditional knifes or machetes, according to a report posted on the Free West Papua website.
Although no detailed reports of the trial have been published, it was reported by news website Okezone that Mr Nimbitkendik was sentenced to one and a half years in prison on 27th January 2009. However, as local community radio HMS Fakfak has reported, the prosecution appealed the sentence and it was subsequently extended to four years.
Mr Nimbitkendik and the other four men still in prison for this case were freed from prison in December 2011, after being imprisoned for three years, five months and three days. Andreas Harsono reported on his blog that a convoy of friends and supporters greeted the men as they were released from prison to accompany them to their homes.
Laporan Elsham Papua Pos Kontak Fak-Fak, 19th July 2008, http://www.hampapua.org/skp/skp06/var-23i.pdf
Free West Papua, 22nd July 2008, http://www.freewestpapua.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=735&Itemid=29
Okezone, 27th January 2009, 4 Pelaku Pengibaran Bintang Kejora Divonis 1.5 Tahun, http://www.ligagame.com/forum/index.php?topic=78073.785;wap2 (no longer available at original website)
Radio HMS FakFak, 4th December 2009, 1 December, Tahanan Politik Papua di Fak-Fak Desak Perundingan, http://radiohmsfakfak.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/1-desember-tahanan-politik-papua-di-fakfak-desak-perundingan/
Andreas Harsono, 23rd December 2011, Tapol Papua dibebaskan di Papua, http://www.andreasharsono.net/2011/12/tapol-papua-dibebaskan-di-fakfak.html