13 Dec 2010

Papuan political prisoners charged with inciting riot at Abepura prison

11:27 am on 13 December 2010

Papuan political prisoners Buchtar Tabuni and Filep Karma have been charged with inciting a riot at Abepura Prison in Indonesia's Papua province earlier this month.

Filep Karma is serving a 15-year sentence for raising a Papuan nationalist flag, while Buchtar Tabuni is serving a three-year sentence for involvement in the launching of International Parliamentarians for West Papua.

Both have been transferred to police custody after the riot which came after police shot dead one of five prisoners who escaped the previous day.

The editor of West Papua Media, Nick Chesterfield, says the two men are not responsible for the riot.

"A lot of it had to do with the fact that people were getting more active and the security forces in Papua, the Indonesian security forces, don't want the communication that was coming out of Buchtar and Filep the whole time. These are people who were arrested for peaceful protest and they're being treated like violent criminals yet the violent criminals are running around in uniform going unpunished."