Jakarta – On Friday August 30 the Metro Jaya regional police arrested two people on charges of treason (makar) for allegedly flying the Morning Star flag in front of the State Place during a rally on Wednesday August 28.
The two arrested activists are Anes Tabuni and Charles Kossay. During the demonstration, Tabuni is accused of acting as the action coordinator, making the invitations, mobilising the protesters, preparing the flags and giving a speech from a command vehicle.
Kossay meanwhile is accused of acting as the action coordinator during a rally in East Jakarta and like Tabuni, of giving a speech from a command vehicle.
Metro Jaya public relations division head Senior Commissioner Argo Yuwono said that the two stand accused of committing crimes against the state and attempted treason. Tabuni and Kossay have been charged under Article 106 in conjunction with Article 87 and or Article 110 of the Criminal Code (KUHP).
"It is strongly suspected that they committed crimes against state security and or conspiring to commit crimes against state security and makar", said Yuwono when sought for confirmation on Saturday August 31.
Despite this, Yuwono did not provide further details on the arrests.
During the arrests, police also secured evidence including two mobile phones, a banner, a T-shirt and a scarf with pictures of the Morning Star and a megaphone.
The arrest of Tabuni and Kossay has triggered a reaction by scores of Papuan and West Papuan activists who went to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters on Saturday afternoon.
They plan to surrender themselves to police as a form of solidarity with their two colleagues because they took part in the action jointly.
"Overnight we communicated with all of the groups from Papua and West Papua calling on them to gather [at the Metro Jaya headquarters], we will go there and surrender ourselves, we also took part in the rally so please arrest us [too]", said Papuan student public relations officer Ambosius.
Based on information from Ambosius, police arrested Tabuni and Kossay at around 7.30 pm when they were at the Lanijaya student dormitory in Depok.
Ambosius said that police had earlier interrogated 19 people before eventually taking Tabuni and Kossay to the Metro Jaya police headquarters. (gst/vws)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pengibar Bintang Kejora di Depan Istana Dijerat Pasal Makar".]