16 Mar 2012

Indonesia jails five for treason over Papua independence declaration

6:24 pm on 16 March 2012

An Indonesian court has jailed five Papuans for three years after they were found guilty of treason.

The five include Forkorus Yaboisembut, who was declared president of the Federal Republic of West Papua by representatives of the district's 200-plus tribes.

All five were arrested and charged amid a crackdown by Indonesian troops last October after the declaration of independence.

The declaration came at the end of a congress of indigenous Papuans - only the third such meeting since 1961, when the western half of the island of New Guinea was under Dutch control.

The culmination of that meeting was a declaration of independence from Indonesia, which prompted a violent crackdown that left six people dead.

Amnesty International says the five activists are prisoners of conscience and must be immediately freed.