According to two reports in the tabloid, JUBI on 16 June 2011, there are seven Papuans currently on trial on charges of makar – subversion. In all these cases, the allegations relate to their participation in an event to commemorate the anniversary of the independence of the West Melanesian Republic on 14 December 2010 and their holding aloft the 14-star flag of the West Melanesian Republic. [This is not the Morning Star flag – the kejora – which is also frequently unfurled at peaceful demonstrations in Papua and has landed numerous Papuans in prison over many years.]
The first report relates to the trial of five students of UNIPA – State University of Papua. The five students are Jhon Raweyai, Yance Sekenyap, Penehas Sorongan, Alex Duwiri and Jhon Wilson Wader, whose ordeal in court has now entered its second hearing.
At this hearing, the defendants and their team of lawyers were given the opportunity to submit their demurrers challenging the court’s right to proceed with the trial. Their lawyer Simon Riziard Banundi said that he had submitted two demurrers as the five students were being tried in two groups.
The trial of the two other Papuans on charges of subversion was unable to proceed because three expert witnesses who had been called by the prosecution had failed to appear as promised. These two men, Melkianus Bleskadit and Dance Yenu are also being defended by Simon Riziard Banundi. Banundi sought clarification at the hearing about whether indeed the witnesses had been summoned as the prosecutors had failed to present copies of the summons sent to them. One of the witnesses was said to be ill while no explanation was given about the absence of the other two.
- Call for judicial review of makar article (westpapuamedia.info)
- Charges against two Papuan defendants at variance with other court documents; also, statement by Warinussy (westpapuamedia.info)
- LP3BH report on the trial of five students in Manokwari (westpapuamedia.info)