Free Political Prisoners in West Papua – rally at Indonesian Consulate, Melbourne, 8 April 2011

Protesters with banners outside Consulate gates

The Morning Star flew in front of the Indonesian Consulate in Melbourne this morning as members of the West Papua community and supporters gathered to demand the release of political prisoners and an end to torture and repression.

Banner - Free West Papua

The particular focus of the action was the case of Filep Karma, sentenced in May 2005 to 15 years imprisonment for treason – see this Amnesty USA video on YouTube :


Filep Karma, Prisoner of Conscience
Filep Karma @ ELSHAM Filep Karma is serving 15 years in prison for raising a flag. A prominent advocate for the rights of Indonesia’s Papuan population, Filep Karma was arrested for taking part in a peaceful ceremony on December 1, 2004, which included the raising of the Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence…

Amnesty International considers Filep Karma to be a prisoner of conscience who has been imprisoned solely for the peaceful and legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of expression. Amnesty is concerned at reports that Mr. Karma has been beaten by guards and has experienced serious health problems in prison. The organization calls on the Indonesian government to free Filep Karma and all other prisoners of conscience.

There was no sign of life at the Consulate beyond the presence of these three …

Police and AFP official inside grounds, 'Papua Merdeka!' banner in driveway

But there was plenty of life outside. The West Papuans as always took to expressing their feelings in song, and passing traffic responded to the appeals with much loud honking – Queens Road is a major thoroughfare and there were a lot of trucks going past.

West Papuans with Morning Star flag singing outside gate

There is to be a West Papua film night next Friday at 7.30pm(April 15) at Kindness House, 288 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – see notice on Indymedia Calendar.

Holding up the Morning Star flag outside the Consulate gates

LIneup outside the Consulate