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West-Papuan ex-political prisoner found dead on beach

A leading West Papuan Human rights and independence campaigner Filep Karma,  was found dead on November 1,  on a beach in the Melanesian region’s capital Jayapura.

The death of the former political prisoner has shocked Papuans and activist communities in Indonesia and around the Pacific.

“It is true that a body was found by a resident on the beach at Bse G, suspected to be Filep Karma, but to be sure, the police are still waiting for confirmation from his family,” North Jayapura police chief Police Adjunct Commissioner Yahya Rumra told Antara News.

The head of the Papuan Human Rights Commission, Frist Ramandey, confirmed Karma’s body had been found on the beach, reports CNN Indonesia.

However, he said his group was still investigating the circumstances of Karma’s death.

Karma was shot in the leg during the Biak massacre in 1998 – when scores of West Papuan independence demonstrators were killed by Indonesian security forces – and was later jailed for raising the Morning Star flag, a symbol of West Papuan independence outlawed by Indonesia.

Filep Karma, 63, led the raising of the Morning Star flag of independence, banned by Indonesian authorities in Biak in 1998 and was eventually imprisoned was released two years later.

In 2004, he again carried out a similar act and was accused of “treason” and  he was jailed for 15 years but released in 2015.

Read more at the Guardian 

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