Septinus Rumere is a farmer from Biak, and also a former activist of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM), according to local newspapers that reported his case. On 1 December 2009 Mr Rumere, who was 62 years old at the time, was arrested under treason charges for raising the ‘Morning Star’ flag outside his house in Orwe village in East Biak. The first of December is celebrated by many Papuans as the day they were granted independence by the Dutch in 1961. The Morning Star flag is a symbol of Papuan identity, and while it is allowed under Indonesia’s 2001 Special Autonomy laws relating to the governance of Papua, it was subsequently banned by Presidential Regulation 77/2007.
Mr Rumere was charged with treason under article 106 of the Indonesian penal code and held in Biak prison for over four months until his trial, which took place on 22 and 23 April 2010. Local newspaper Biak News reported that the case for the defence, presented by Metuzalak Awom, stated that the application of article 106 was inappropriate. Mr Awom elaborated that the case for the prosecution was unable to specify exactly which area the defendant was aiming to separate from the Republic of Indonesia, or to clarify the foreign entity under whose control Mr Rumere’s action aimed to bring the said area. According to local newspaper Papua Pos, Mr Rumere was sentenced to six months imprisonment for treason under article 106, but the judge granted his release on 24 April 2010 in consideration of the time he had already spent in prison. The prosecution, which had demanded a much harsher sentence of two years in prison, announced to the media that they would appeal the sentence in the Jayapura High Court. No details of an appeal or its outcome have since been reported.
Antara News, “Kejaksaan Biak Ajukan Banding Kasus Makar ‘Bintang Kejora’,” 5 Mei 2010, http://www.antaranews.com/berita/1273017799/kejaksaan-biak-ajukan-banding-kasus-makar-bintang-kejora
Biak News, Diposkan oleh Tanahku-Papua barat, “Pengadilan Negeri Biak akhirnya membebaskan Mr. Septinus Rumere, Kemenangan buat OPM,” 23 April 2010, http://www.tanahku.west-papua.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=962&Itemid=27
Neubaur, Kristina, “Perkembangan terbaru situasi Hak Asasi Manusia di Papua, Indonesia selama tiga bulan pertama di tahun 2010,” Jaringan Papua Barat, Wuppertal, 15 April 2010, http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org/userfiles/files/Publications/10_05_11_Update%20on%20the%20situation%20in%20Papua_kn.pdf
Papua Pos, “Pelaku tindak makar dibebaskan,” 26 April 2010, http://papuapos.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4256%3Apelaku-tindak-pidana-makar-dibebaskan&catid=1%3Aberita-utama&Itemid=9
Papua Pos, “Sidang Kasus Pengibaran Bendera Bintang Kejora (West Papua ) di Pengadilan Negeri Biak ,” 23 April 2010, http://papuapost.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/