26 Jun 2006

Papuan rioter trial feared to be compromised

3:48 pm on 26 June 2006

The Bureau of Human Rights and Justice in Indonesia's Papua province says there's little hope that 16 Papuans charged in connection with a violent demonstration in March will have a fair trial.

The 16 are charged with a variety of offences, including inciting the violence which led to six deaths, four of whom were Indonesian police officers.

The rally in Jayapura called for the closure of the Freeport mine in Timika.

The Bureau's co-ordinator Benny Giay has interviewed the suspects and says they've not had proper legal representation, with the trial being dominated by heavy Indonesian security presence.

Dr Giay says witnesses at the Jayapura District court are being intimidated to testify against the Papuans.

"There's a strong police and military presence there. Of course the justification is that there are five who have been beaten to death by Papuans so I'm hopeless... I went to see them at court and... we just cried. There's no justice here."

Benny Giay.