Abepura flag-raising 2004


On 1 December, the date many West Papuans regard as their Independence day, a flag-raising ceremony took place outside Abepura. Police attacked the gathering, injuring at least 4 people and arresting 20. Of these, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were eventually prosecuted and sentenced to 15 and 10 years respectively for treason, the longest sentences that have been given in Papua for peaceful demonstrations expressing independence aspirations. The cases of the two men have become well-known, due to the support of international human rights organisations as well as their own uncompromising commitment to their beliefs. Both men have provided support for fellow political prisoners and have continued their advocacy work during terms of imprisonment.