10 Oct 2003

Indonesian court jails three Papuans for treason

4:39 pm on 10 October 2003

Three men in the Indonesian province of Papua have been sent to jail for treason for their involvement in raising the Papuan independence flag.

The Jakarta Post reports that thirty-nine-year-old Edison Waromi and twenty-nine-year-old Herman Wanggai were each sentenced to two years imprisonment by the district court in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

Yordan Ick was sentenced to ten months in prison for knowing of the treason but failing to report it to authorities.

Police arrested the three defendants when they were trying to raise the Morning Star flag at a university campus in Jayapura last December 14.

Judge F X Soegiharto found them guilty of violating two articles in Indonesia's criminal code for planning to separate the province of Papua from the rest of the country.

The judge said the flag raising was intended to commemorate the fourteenth anniversary of a declaration of independence for West Melanesia.