Jakarta – The panel of judges in the Central Jakarta District Court have handed down jail sentences against Surya Anta and five other Papuan activists charged with treason. The Five other defendants are Charles Kossay, Ambrosius Mulait, Isay Wenda, Anes Tabuni and Arina Elopere.
According to the panel of judges, the six activists were proven to have violated Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph 1 of the KUHP (1) on makar (treason, subversion, rebellion). The six activists were sentenced to between eight and nine months in jail.
“The defendants Surya Anta, Ambrosius Mulait and Charles Kossay have been found guilty and are sentenced to nine months jail”, said the panel of judges in reading out the verdict which was broadcast live on Friday April 24.
A sentence of nine months jail was also given to Arina Elopere and Dano Tabuni. Their nine months jail sentence will be reduced by the time that the two have been detained during the trail.
Meanwhile Isay Wenda was found guilty and sentenced to eight months jail.
The six Papuan activists were deemed to have committed makar after they held demonstrations in front of the State Palace and TNI AD (Indonesian army) headquarters in August 2019.
The charges of makar were laid because during the actions the Morning Star flag was flown, which is a symbol of Papuan independence.
The sentencing hearing at the Central Jakarta District Court was broadcast live in order to prevent the spread of the corona virus. The defendants attended the hearing via video teleconferencing.
The six Papuan activists were declared suspects on August 30-31 last year on charges of makar and indicted under Article 106 in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph 1 of the KUHP along with Article 110 Paragraph 1 of the KUHP on criminal conspiracy because they expressed an opinion in public during a protest action on August 28 in front of the State Palace.
The protest action took up the theme “Students Against Racism, Capitalism, Colonialism and Militarism Reject All Forms of Discrimination Against the Papuan People”, which was a response to racist slurs against Papuan students in the East Java regional capital of Surabaya on August 16. (tst/ugo)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aktivis Papua Surya Anta Divonis 9 Bulan Penjara Kasus Makar”.]