Independence activists in Papua jailed for treason

17-Mar-2012 Intellasia | AP | 4:39 PM Print This Post

A court in the restive Indonesian province of Papua has sentenced five independence activists to prison for treason.

A court in Papua’s capital, Jayapura, on Friday gave each of the five a three-year sentence for their pro-independence statements at October’s Papuan People’s Congress.

New York-based Human Rights Watch criticised the treason charges as politically motivated and said the Indonesian government should order the men’s release.

The group also renewed a call for Indonesia to free all political prisoners and allow human rights groups and foreign journalists to visit Papua.

Forkorus Yaboisembut (left) and three other defendants in court. Photo: AFP


The former Dutch colony in the western part of New Guinea was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969. A small separatist group has battled for independence ever since.

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