1 Nov 2006

Anger in Papua over murder trial, presence of Freeport

8:18 pm on 1 November 2006

Hundreds of people have rallied in Indonesia's Papua province in opposition to the trial of seven Papuans charged with the 2002 murders of three employees of mining company Freeport.

The Jakarta Post reports that protesters blocked off access for several hours to Freeport's operations in Timika on Monday.

Also this week, demonstrators gathered outside the Timika District Court to demand the release of the seven defendants, the closure of the Freeport mine and the withdrawal of soldiers and police officers from Papua.

They have questioned the fairness of the trial, and have accused US-based Freeport of exploiting Papua's natural resources while failing to give Papuans a fair share of the benefits.