Ms Werfete is a West Papuan independence activist. At the time of her arrest, she and ten other individuals (including her husband, Silvester Nauw) were in the process of informing locals about plans to protest at the Sorong Mayor’s Office the following day. The planned protest was to commemorate the proclamation of independence of the West Papua New Guinea Republic.
At the time of her arrest, Ms Werfete was travelling in a pick-up truck with ten other travel companions. The group was carrying a hat and T-shirt bearing the Morning Star symbol, in addition to a banner. During the arrest, the police confiscated the group’s banner, in addition to the pickup-truck.
Melfin Werfete was arrested along with Lukas Smas, Lukas Nauw, Joshua Kingho, Fengky Nauw, Daniel Jitmau, Paulus Syama, Silvester Nauw, Simon Aifat, Wilson Kofias and Yanpiter Yewen. They were arrested by the police in Sorong on 26 November 2019 for allegedly preparing to participate in the 1st of December Morning Star Flag Raising ceremony. They were subsequently charged and detained for treason. All
are currently in prison, waiting for their trial process to begin. were sentenced to 10 months in prison for conspiracy to commit crimes agains the state under Article 110 of the Criminal Code and has since been released.