20 Mar 2012

Reports of appeal lodged in Indonesia treason case

11:28 am on 20 March 2012

Reports from West Papua say lawyers for the men jailed last Friday for three years after being found guilty of treason, have launched a formal appeal against the sentences in the court of Jayapura.

The five Papuans 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.

The media report says the legal team defending the five men have stated that

they are appealing the decision because it was inconsistent with the facts of the trial, and evidence presented.