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West Papuan independence campaigner Filep Karma. Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

Filep Karma, the most prominent pro-independence Papuan activist to have been imprisoned in Indonesia has died in an apparent diving incident in Jayapura, Papua.

The head of the Papuan Human Rights Commission Frist Ramandey said his body was found on a beach in Jayapura on Tuesday morning.

However he said his party is still investigating Mr Karma's death.

Filep Karma was a father figure for West Papuans and was respected by many Indonesian people.

He led the raising of the Morning Star flag in Biak in 1998 and was eventually imprisoned and released two years later.

In 2004, he again carried out a similar act and was accused of treason.

On this occasion he was jailed for 15 years but released in 2015.

- CNN Indonesia