19 Dec 2011

Treason charges laid against five Papuan leaders following October Congress

11:35 am on 19 December 2011

Reports from Indonesia say a senior Papuan leader, Forkorus Yaboisembut, has been charged with treason - two months after his arrest near Jayapura.

According to information released by the NGO, Tapol, he is one of five men charged under Article 106 for proclaiming a state of West Papua last October.

If found guilty, the five accused, who include Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Domingus Sarabut and Agus Krat, can be jailed for 20 years.

A lawyer acting for the Papuans has, however, questioned the nature of the charges, saying the minister for legal, political and security affairs had agreed to be a keynote speaker at the Papuan Peace Congress.

The Congress in Abepura called for the people's right to self-determination, prompting an assault by security forces who arrested scores.