A 42-year-old protester has been charged with trespassing on the Indonesian consulate-general in Melbourne after an incident which came at a time of renewed tensions in the bilateral relationship with Australia, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The arrest was made three days after Indonesia criticised Australia for not arresting a man who clambered onto the roof of the consulate-general and waved a pro-independence West Papuan flag on January 6.
“The Australian Federal Police can confirm it arrested a 42-year-old man in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown on Monday, January 30,” the Australian Federal Police said.
The arrest comes just days before Attorney-General George Brandis, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan are scheduled to attend the Ministerial Council on Law and Security in Jakarta, reports the Sydney Morning Herald’s Indonesia-based correspondent Jewel Topsfield.
On January 26, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said a parliamentary commission had asked the Australian government to legally process the trespassing incident “because we know the faces of perpetrators, we have the pictures”.
The incident featured a demonstrator waving the pro-independence West Papuan “Morning Star” flag, which is banned in Indonesia, while another person filmed the event, reports the Herald.
The video was posted on rapper and West Papua campaigner Izzy Brown’s Facebook page and distributed widely.