27 Sep 2012

West Papua human rights activist gets eight months for vandalism

7:30 am on 27 September 2012

The leader of the West Papua National Committee, Buchtar Tabuni, has been sentenced to eight months in prison for vandalism at the Jayapura Prison, in Indonesia's Papua province.

The chair of the panel of judges assigned by the Jayapura Court to try the case, Haris Munandar, says Tabuni was proven guilty of throwing stones at the glass windows of the prison's head office in December 2010.

The 32 year-old had had been serving a three-year sentence at the prison for involvement in the launching of International Parliamentarians for West Papua.

He had earlier told the court that he had done everything he possibly could to prevent a crowd of people from inflicting damage in the prison in December 2010.

Meanwhile, the Jakarta Post reports hundreds of riot police were deployed to maintain security at the court as more than 200 Papuans attended the session to show support for Buchtar.