Four Papuan students acquitted of makar charges
According to report received today from the defence team of five Papuan students from UNIPA university, four of the five men have been acquitted by a court in Manokwari and will be released immediately.
They had faced the charge of makar – subversion – in connection with
their involvement in an event to mark the anniversary of the
proclamation of the Independence of the Republic of West Melanesia on
14 December last year.
The four acquitted men are Alex Duwiri, John Wilson Wader, Penehas
Serongan and Yance Sekeyab.
The fifth student, John Raweyai, who had jumped onto the platform to
speak on the issue was found guilty and sentenced to nine months, with
deduction for the time already served in detention.
Yan Christian Warinussy, a member of the defence team, described the
acquittal as a courageous decision by the panel of judges. He said that the men were the victims of mistaken arrest and investigation by the police who took them into custody.
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