(AFP) – Apr 3, 2008
JAKARTA (AFP) — An activist in Indonesia has been jailed for life for his role in raising an outlawed separatist flag during a traditional dance performed for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a report said Friday.
Johan Teterisa, 46, was convicted of "plotting against the state" over his role in the June 2007 protest in the eastern province of Maluku, state news agency Antara reported.
The judges said that as the ringleader of the group behind the flag-raising, he had "embarrassed the people of Indonesia in the eyes of the world," and that his sentence was particularly high because he showed no remorse.
The unfurling of the outlawed South Maluku Republic (RMS) flag was viewed as a major embarrassment for the president and has resulted in long jail sentences for those involved.
Another activist, Abraham Saiya, was given a 15-year sentence on Thursday, and several others have been jailed over the incident in recent months.
Indonesia has historically fought numerous separatist insurgencies throughout its sprawling archipelago and remains sensitive to breakaway movements.
Jakarta crushed the RMS shortly after its declaration of independence in 1950, but the movement revived following the fall of authoritarian president Suharto in 1998.
Government-sponsored peace talks in 2002 failed to end the violence, and sporadic clashes and tensions persist.
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