5 Jan 2012

Outrage at Indonesian court decision

3:42 pm on 5 January 2012

Indonesians have reacted angrily to a court decision to convict a teenage boy for stealing a pair of worn-out sandals.

The 15-year-old faced a possible five-year jail sentence but the court on the island of Sulawesi instead ordered him sent home to his parents.

The BBC reports that hundreds of people packed the court room as the sentence was handed down and there were howls of protest from many in the crowd.

The boy said he believed the sandals had been discarded when he found them outside a boarding house used by police but six months later was accused of theft by a police officer who, the teenager alleged, beat him until his legs bled.

The BBC says many Indonesians have been leaving sandals at police stations as a protest.