Nearly 600 arrested on global flag raising day

December 3, 2018

On Saturday December 1st at least 595 people were reported to have been arrested, and many wounded.

Interim report on Melanesian citizens and their allies who were arrested by Indonesian security forces for participating peacefully in non-violent action to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the first raising of the Morning Star Flag

1. Kupang 18 people
2. Ternate 99 people
3. Ambon 43 people
4. Manado 27 people
5. Makassar 24 people
6. Surabaya 233 people
7. Jakarta,140 people surrounded and blocked in front of YLBHI office.
Total in Indonesia: 493 people
West Papua
1. Jayapura Regency 44 people
2. Jayapura Town 41 people
3. Asmat Fait 10 people
4. Waropen 7 people
Total: 102 people

Listed above are the numbers of detainees as of morning December 3rd. As details become available and reports confirmed, we expect these numbers to fluctuate.

As evidenced in this BBC  video the majority of Papuans, and all groups formally organized under the umbrella of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, are committed to securing their freedom through peaceful resistance. The BBC video from the rally in Surabaya clearly shows that in the face of counter protesters and heavily armed police, the Melanesian people remained passive. With aggression surrounding them they are seen here cooperating with police, staying in formation, and stoically singing their songs of freedom.


We call on Indonesia to take the following actions:

  1. Release all detainees who remain in custody
  2. Abide by universal human rights laws that protect freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
  3. Put an end to the militarisation of peaceful gatherings such as prayer meetings, film screenings, student assemblies, and flag raisings
  4. Cease all unlaw use of intimidation tactics that perpetuate a culture of fear to discourage the people of West Papua from exercising their aspirations to live as free people. This includes arbitrary arrests, raiding KNPB facilities without warrant, vandalising property, and unnecessary use of force
  5. Improve access to West Papua by permitting foreign journalists and NGOs to investigate and work without restriction.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has appealed to all international media covering West Papua to please contact Simeon Daby, Chairman of the ULMWP Action Committee +62 81245157935. English and Bahasa Indonesia interviews available.