16 May 2005

Papua Human Rights Organisation alleges judge's involvement in riot brutality

7:11 am on 16 May 2005

The Indonesian province of Papua's main human rights group, Elsham, is investigating alleged human rights violations by police, court officials and a judge outside a Jayapura court last week.

Dozens of people were injured in clashes after the trial of two separatists for subversive activities, which stems from their arrest last december for raising the Papuan independence flag.

Philep Karma has been sentenced to five years in jail, while Yusak Pakage is yet to be sentenced.

Tuesday's violence reportedly began when hundreds of independence supporters blocked the main entrance gate of Jayapura District Court, angry at being denied clarification by court officials about the trial outcome.

Elsham's executive secretary, Denny Yomaki, says the court officials without notice unexpectedly ran the trial session earlier than scheduled, which added to the frustration...

"When the riot took place, the judge, as well as the civil servants at the courthouse, were involved in violating the students that were protesting on Tuesday. Because one of the judges was beating up and kicking one of the student girls."