Tag Archives: Edison Waromi

Sentences of Forkorus and colleagues lengthened by sixty days

JUBI, 16 April 2012
Gustav Kawer, a member of the defence team of Forkorus and his co-defendants, has confirmed that the sentences of his clients have been lengthened for the second time.The reason for the second lengthening was that the documents relating to the case  had not been sent  by the District Court to the High Court in Jayapura.Following the first addittion of thirty days, the material had not yet been examined, resulting in another thirty days been added to the sentences.

Olga Hamadi, another member of the defence team, confirmed that the sentences had been lengthened, saying that the High Court in Jayapura had issued a statement to the effect that the sentences of the five men, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Dominikus Surabet and Agust Kraar had been lengthened.

Meanwhile, Gustaf Kawer said that they would be holding a press conference with regard to their appeal against the sentences. This will take place on Wednesday  this week,’ he said.

He said that the men were  put on trial following the Third Papuan People’s Congress which was held last October because events during that Congress were deemed to be an act of treason.

Appeal against Papuan Congress treason convictions launched

From West Papua Media sources in Jayapura
March 19, 2012
After an Indonesian court on March 16 sentenced  five Congress leaders guilty of Makar (treason) three years in prison each, lawyers for the men have today launched a formal appeal against the sentences in the Jayapura Class 1a district court.
The five defendants, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selfius Bobii, Dominikus Sorabut, and Agus Kraar, were leaders and organisers of the Third Papuan People’s Congress held on October 19 2011, which was brutally broken up by Indonesian security forces after Forkorus  – the Chairman of the Papuan Tribal Council elected as President of the Federated Republic of West Papua – unilaterally reaffirmed West Papua’s independence from Indonesia.
An SMS just sent to West Papua Media from the legal team defending the five men said “promptly at 15:00 (West Papua time), our team of legal advisors has stated appeals in Class IA Jayapura District Court in connection with the Makar case on behalf Forkorus, et al, against 3 year prison sentence imposed by the judges of  (the)  Court, for being convicted of a crime of attempted treason”.
The SMS stated that the crimes the men were convicted under “also referred to in Article 106 of the Criminal Code,  Article 55 paragraph (1) of the  Criminal Code, together with Article 53 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code, (we have lodged) a statement of appeal of the verdict of Class IA Jayapura District Court”
“This judgement does not have the force of law, then the case must be reviewed by the Jayapura High Court Judge,” according to the SMS.
“The reason we (have) appealed the decision of the Court of Jayapura (is because it is) essentially inconsistent with the facts of the trial, both from witnesses, evidence and the testimony of the defendant,” the legal team said.  “Also it is not in agreement with the Book of the Law of Criminal Procedure.”
The date that the appeal is set down to be heard is not known at the time of publication, as the lodged appeal had yet to be processed by the court.

Open Letter from Forkorus and Edison Waromi to International Community

Open Letter


Forkorus Yaboisembut and Edison Waromi, in their own name and on behalf of the West Papuan people.


the Secretary-General United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon,

the EU high representative for foreign affairs Catherine Ashton,

former US president Bill Clinton,

the UN under-secretary general and emergency relief coordinator at UN OCHA Valerie Amos,

the US director if national intelligence James Clapper,

the Interpol president Khoo Boon Hui,

the US homeland security secretary Janet Napollitano,

former Filipno president Fidel Valdez Ramos, and

former prime minister Tony Blair.



18 March, 2012

Dear Madam,

Dear Sirs,

It is with great expectation that we learn that a most distinguished delegation where under your selves will visit Jakarta from March 19 until March 21 at the occasion of the next coming Jakarta International Defense Dialog.

The undersigned Forkorus Yaboisembut and Edison Waromi take the opportunity of this next coming visit to address in their personal name as well as on behalf of the West Papuan people the present Open Letter to the World leaders.

Both undersigned are presently under illegal detention in Jayapura in West Papua for no other reasons than making continuous efforts for human rights, democracy and self-determination for West Papua.  They are individually victims of violations of Human Rights, such as the people of West Papua are collectively victims of violations of Human Rights.

The undersigned both being in jail, they address by this Open Letter a cry for obtaining the so-needed special attention of the world leaders, especially since instructions were given by the Indonesian authorities (on the date of 9 February, 2012, at 10am, in the Ashton Hotel Papua in Jayapura, in the presence of Indonesian Army chiefs, Police chiefs, the Governor of Papua, Policy Information Services, BIN, BAIS, BMP and others), in order not to refrain from violating Human Rights in the framework of the ongoing process for treason against both undersigned. Also, the message was given by officials to the judges present at that meeting of 9 February, 2012, to give no room for any defense to the defendants and lawyers of the undersigned for the defense of their case.

Being without any normal legal defense as should be allowed, this Open Letter goes beyond the only matter of Human Rights and self-determination for the West-Papuan people.

It is the very hope of the West Papuan people and the undersigned that the honorable delegation at the Jakarta International Defense Dialog will not turn around and no longer ignore the major problems West Papua is facing due to the absence since decennia of a fair and democratic approach of handling Human Rights and rights to self-determination towards West Papua, as well as a fair repartition of wealth towards West Papua (see infra).

It must unfortunately be said that the successive Indonesian regimes and their successive Governments have never been politically prepared to give fair chances for introducing human rights, democracy and self-determination to West Papua.

The Indonesian regimes and their successive Governments have totally neglected and continue to neglect the under the rules of international public law most respectable and fundamental aspirations of the West Papuan people to their basic rights which are fully consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other applicable instruments in the field of Human Rights law.

The political motivations of the undersigned are only those directly related to basic Human Rights and those protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly held in New York on 16 December 1966 which became into force on 23 March 1976, and to which the Republic of Indonesia acceded on 23 February 2006.

The undersigned act in good faith in accordance with the principles of Human Rights, and nothing in the present Open Letter stands contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Charter.

Hereunder follows a non-exhaustive list of several aspects of violations of Human Rights occurred, ongoing and/or with a high risk of re-occurring:

  1. the denial of the right of self-determination,
  2. the rights of indigenous people,
  3. the rights of minorities,
  4. arbitrary detention,
  5. enforced and involuntary disappearances,
  6. extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions,
  7. torture and other crual or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
  8. the right to food,
  9. the freedom of peaceful assembly,
  10. the freedom of opinion and expression,
  11. the right of access to the territory for journalists,
  12. the right to environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and waste,
  13. the right to safe drinking water,
  14. violence against women

For the sake of good order and comprehension follows here a recapitulation of the history and situation of generalized violations of Human Rights by Indonesia towards West Papua, and the denial of self-determination for West Papua by Indonesia.

  1. In 1969 the Indonesian government, after having received from the United Nations the provisional administration over West Papua, organizes the so-called “Act of Choice”;
  2. The “Act of Choice” took place under conditions totally the opposite of the right to self-determination;
  3. The conditions under which the “Act of Choice”  took place were totally the opposite of those decided by the UN for letting the people of West Papua freely express themselves on their future political regime;
  4. During the years after the “Act of Choice” and up to now  the West Papuan population has on a continued basis reminded that the “Act of Choice” has taken place under falsified and non-democratic conditions;
  5. The procedure for determining the future of West Papua therefore never took place under conditions which may make expire the basic civil and political rights of the West Papuan indigenous people;
  6. The West Papuan indigenous people still have their rights to decide on the way they choose for self-determination;
  7. The United Nations General Assembly has in 1969 acted the result of the” Act of Free Choice” and has given execution to that result;
  8. This meant that West Papua became annexed to the Republic of Indonesia as an integral part of Indonesia;
  9. West Papua therefore was forced to stay in a colonial system;
  10. Only the Rule was substituted;
  11. What happened to be the Dutch Rule was substituted or exchanged into an Indonesian Rule;
  12. The legal result in terms of International Public Law is that West Papua never lost its rights to step out of the colonial system;
  13. The West Papuan people under the present system being  annexed and fully integrated in the Republic of Indonesia still has its full rights for self-determination, as well as its civil and political rights;
  14. Those rights for self-determination follow the particularities of the West Papuan people;
  15. It is not contested that the West Papuan people is distinguished from Indonesia;
  16. The West Papuan region is by geography totally separated from Indonesia;
  17. The ethnic origins of the West Papuan people are Melanesian, and not Indonesian;
  18. The language spoken is also from origins totally different from the official Indonesian language;
  19. On the religious side, 80 % of the West Papuan people are Christian, the same percentage is trough for the Islamic people of the total of Indonesia;
  20. The fundamental differences with Indonesia were already recognized by the former Dutch colonizer;
  21. The former Dutch colonizer therefore organized its administration over West Papua totally separated from its administration over Indonesia;
  22. Indonesia obtained independence in 1949;
  23. This independence took place without any link to a possible annexation of West Papua to Indonesia;
  24. This independence also happened without any demand or claim from Indonesia for an annexation of West Papua;
  25. At the moment of the preparation of Indonesia’s independence there was also no demand neither a suggestion from The Netherlands to annex West Papua to Indonesia at the occasion of the independence of Indonesia;
  26. West Papua then stayed without any change under the Dutch Rule;
  27. West Papua came only in 1963 under certain and by the United Nations well defined conditions temporarily under the administration of Indonesia;
  28. No decision by the United Nations General Assembly can take away from any people its basic rights for self-determination, as well as its civil and political rights;
  29. The people of West Papua therefore never have lost their rights for self-determination, civil and political rights, neither to free themselves from colonialism;
  30. The fault for that infringement to non-contested rights and principles of Human Rights is the non-contestable falsification by the Republic of Indonesia of the conditions imposed for a fair and democratic organization of the ”Act of Free Choice”;
  31. The Republic of Indonesia is fully responsible for the situation whereby West Papua has never had the occasion to make use under fair circumstances, and following  a democratic way, of its fundamental rights for leaving the colonial system;
  32. The fact that the United Nations General Assembly in 1969 has not refused the results of the “Act of Free Choice” as presented to the General Assembly can in no way do expire the basic Human Rights of the people of West Papua;
  33. The fact that the United Nations General Assembly of 1969 has given the administration of West Papua to Indonesia, West Papua becoming by this an integral part of Indonesia does in no way do expire West Papua’s rights to self-determination and  come out from a colonial system;
  34. The West Papuan people did never lose and can never lose their internal rights for self-determination;
  35. The internal right to self-determination is a non-contested right of International Public Law;
  36. West Papua moreover also fulfills the conditions for external rights to independence following the United Nations Resolution 2625 of 1970.
  37. Protection to territorial integrity of a State then indeed became conditioned by the state’s behavior in conformity with the principle of equal rights and self-determination, and governance by a Government representing the whole of the State’s population without discrimination on grounds such as race, religion or color.
  38. Indonesia has at the occasion of its accession to the so-called BUPO Covenant  (see below) made most clear that it indeed fails to respect the conditions imposed for making use or benefitting  of the protection of territorial integrity;
  39. In no way one may ascertain or accept that the West Papuan people has been in the situation to participate actively and effectively to its self-determination, as well as to the decision making on the way it would be administered;
  40. The opposite has happened;
  41. The by Indonesia in 2001installed Autonomy Act can under International Public Law never be a substitute to the basic Human Right of self-determination, neither a substitute to basic Civil and Political rights;
  42. The Autonomy Act moreover was used by the Indonesian Government as an instrument for further administering the West Papuan people in a way that is not corresponding to comply with effective Human Rights;
  43. This became very soon clear and the Autonomy Act was refused by the West Papuan Congress after 4 years of giving it a fair chance;
  44. It cannot be denied that infringements against Human Rights occurred in various domains;
  45. These domains are mentioned here above;
  46. Infringements against Human Rights are still ongoing or present a high risk of re-occurring;
  47. Moreover, Indonesia has effectively shown that its administering of the West Papuan people and way of internal and international law making process is one of window dressing and lacks any legal ground;
  48. Indonesia has acceded to the so-called BUPO Covenant on 23 February 2006;
  49. Indonesia has however at the occasion of its accession to the BUPO Covenant excluded article one of the effects of its accession;
  50. Article one of the BUPO Covenant read as follows:

50.1.     1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

50.2.     2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

50.3.     3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

51.  Indonesia has however made the following Declaration at the occasion of its accession to the BUPO Covenant :”With reference to Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia declares that, consistent with the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States, and the relevant paragraph of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action of 1993, the words “the right of self-determination” appearing in this article do not apply to a section of people within a sovereign independent state and cannot be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent states.”

  1. Indonesia has by acting in this way put itself aside and above basic Human Rights;
  2. Indonesia has by such exclusion clearly showed its way of administering the West Papuan people, i.e. by excluding  them from basic Human Rights;
  3. One must even recognize that Indonesia’s Declaration excluding the full application of article one of the BUPO Covenant is without any legal effect since such Declaration totally brings to zero a most substantial part of the covenant;
  4. Also, the wording used by Indonesia in its Declaration at the occasion of its accession to the BUPO Covenant would imply all of the states having ratified or accessed to the BUPO Covenant (see last word “states”), what of course makes null the total of its Declaration, and therefore leaves without any legal incidence or impact its Declaration.
  5. The conclusion of the foregoing is that Indonesia, even while accessing to international  treaties relating to Human Rights, takes the occasion to exclude the West Papuan people from basic Human Rights such as the right to self-determination, as well as Civil and Political rights;
  6. This state comportment of Indonesia is an infringement of basic articles of the United Nations Charter, and for membership-conditions of the United Nations Organization.

The undersigned apply for all appropriate further actions by the world leaders at the occasion of the from March 19 until March 21 Jakarta International Defense Dialog, and their recognition that the West Papuan situation must be resolved in accordance with all the West Papuan rights to self-determination as well as Human Rights, without any exception whatsoever.

The undersigned confirm their wish to re-establish normal speaking terms with Indonesia, and make workable a new modus vivendi for the future and welfare of West Papua and its people, as well as all of the stakeholders of its economic actors.

In this framework the undersigned aim to be directly involved in the announced renegotiations of mine-, gas-, and oil contracts recently cited as political priority by the competent Minister of Energy, his Excellency Jero Wacik.

For the whole of this subject of renegotiations of mine-, gas-, and oil contracts, the undersigned aim for starting urgently a neutral audit by a reputed international audit firm they will choice for an examination in depth of the application that was given regarding the 70 to 80% repartition of wealth as part of the Autonomy Act since 2001.

The undersigned do hope that indeed their action may lead to a better re-distribution of wealth, and more prosperity to all stakeholders, at all levels, in total conformity with international private and public law.

In that sense the undersigned have asked to the ILO in Geneva for assisting them in order to establish well regulated labor organizations under UN norms.

Also, the undersigned are delighted to learn about a revival of economic interest in the region, and the visit of entrepreneurs of the private sector. The undersigned aim to be associated and to actively take part to the discussions in that matter.

The undersigned do hope that in agreement with the World leaders, the Presidency, Vice-Presidency, and the entire Government of Indonesia, one may enter into most prosperous relations between parties for all of the issues mentioned above.

Sincerely yours,

Forkorus Yaboisembut, and

Edison Waromi.

18 March, 2012

Statement from 5 Makar accused at KP3 treason trial

STATEMENT BY FIVE PAPUANS WHO WENT ON TRIAL IN JAYAPURA ON 30 JANUARY 2011[This hand-written statement is signed by the five Papuans who went on trial in Jayapura on 30 January 2012, and is translated in full by
Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL]

Fully understanding and conscious of our basic human rights as Papuans of the negroid race, part of the Melanesian race who live in the land of the country of West Papua, inheritors from our ancestors, we herewith firmly declare  that WE FIRMLY REJECT THE TREASON TRIAL AND OTHER SUCH TRIALS that has been mounted against the five of us, and we speak on behalf our colleagues and the entire nation of the Papuan people of the Nation of West Papua.

We call for an understanding of this declaration, a declaration of independence, in accordance with the principles of PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW, a law which should be lawfully accepted. And in this case, this declaration will bring us substantial  happiness if it gains the recognition of the international community.

In order to gain substantial and dignified recognition from the international community, we have requested our international team of lawyers to  notify and register  our legal status along with the question of the annexation of the TERRITORY OF THE STATE OF WEST PAPUA at the International Court, with the Secretary-General  of the United Nations, Amnesty International and all member states of the United Nations, as well as other competent authorities.

We herewith categorically state that we are not prepared to make any statements or answer any questions that are based on the laws and accusations of treason by  the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, during the current trial for treason. It is very clear indeed that this is a matter between two nations and two states, that is to say, between the Papuan nation and the Indonesian nation, between the Federal State of West Papua  and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

The following are the reasons for our rejection of the trial for treason or any such trial:

[NB: The copy of the statement which we have received jumps at this point from page 2 to page 4 which suggests that the copy we have is incomplete.]

1.    Our struggle and the struggle of those who have gone before us and the nation of West Papua  and all members of the Papuan people up to the present day is a struggle for the restoration of independence and sovereignty of the Papuan Nation as one of our most basic political rights.

2.    Bearing in mind that the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia annexed and continues to annex, the people and nation of the Papuan people since the TRIKORA command which was proclaimed by the former president of Indonesia, President Sukarno on 19 December 1961 in the city of Jogyakarta and which was followed up by  the Indonesian military, from 1962 to the present day, by a variety of measures aimed at preserving the annexation.

3.    Our struggle is not aimed as damaging or destroying any country in the world.

4.    We do not intend to damage or destroy the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

5.    We feel that our dignity has been defiled, that our basic political  rights have been violated in our country, West Papua, which we inherited from our ancestors.

6.    No one, for whatever reason, has the right to make accusations against us or to convict us in a treason trial or any such trial. This is because we have become the subjects of our own laws  as citizens of the nation and state of the Federal Republic of West Papua.

7.    Based on the values of basic human rights, of democracy and the following universal laws:

a. The  first article in the Preamble to the1945 Constitution  of the Republic of Indonesia.
b. Article15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations adopted on 10 December, 1948.
c. Article 1, para 1 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted as UN Resolution 2200 (xxi) which has been in force since 23 March 1976,.
d. The Declaration on Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in UN Resolution 1514 (xv) on 14 December 1960.
e. The basic principles of decolonisation , namely possidetis juris and the legal succession of the state to the colonial territories  of the  Dutch East Indies (Dutch Papua) since 19 October 1961.
f. ILO Convention No. 169, 1989 on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal People.
g. The UN Declaration on the basic rights of indigenous peoples of 13 September 2007.
h. The Papuan Independence Manifesto of 19 October 1961 adopted by the Papuan National Committee.
i.  Stipulations adopted by the Grand Congress (MUBES) of the Papuan people in 2000.
j. The Eleven Recommendations of the Second  Papuan Peoples’ Congress and Indigenous Papuan People  in 2010.
k. The decisions of the Second Papuan Peoples Congress in 2000.
l.  The decisions of the Third Papuan Peoples Congress of 2011.

8.    The Statement by the Indigenous Papuan People and the Papuan people is a truth based on analytical and practical categories. The analytical category means that the indigenous P apuan people are the Papuan nation, a negroid race of the Melanesian race, located in the South Pacific. Whereas the practical category is a political statement which was enunciated in the Manifesto of Papuan Independence of the Papuan National Committee on 19 October 1961 in Hollandia, the State of West Papua.

9.     We democratically restored the independence and sovereignty of the Papuan people on 19 October 2011, at the Third Papuan Peoples  Congress with the establishment of the Federal Republic of West Papua  which was announced by the DECLARATION OF THE PAPUAN NATION IN THE STATE OF WEST PAPUA.

10.    The government of the Republic of Indonesia and the governments of all other members of the United Nations, should without discrimination recognise and respect the democratic processes of the Papuan people at the Third Papuan Peoples Congress on 19 October 2011 in the form of the Declaration of the West Papuan Nation and State.

11.     The application of the treason law against the Papuan people must be categorised as a violation of the basic and legal political rights of the Papuan nation.

We hereby call on to the Honourable Judges in this forum to annul the trial held in order to accuse us of TREASON and make similar charges against us. The solution to the independence of the Papuan nation which is our most basic political right must be sought by means of international mechanisms between the Federal Republic of West Papua and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, mediated by the United Nations.

In order to regulate the transfer  of sovereign powers from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of West Papua, we intend to initiate a new phase of cooperation  based on the principles of democracy,  justice, peace, mutual respect and dignity. As is customary between independent and sovereign nations and states on Planet Earth.


Jayapura, 30 January 2012


1. Forkorus Yaboisembut, President of the Federal State of West Papua.
2. Edison G. Waromi, SH, Prime Minister of the Federal State of West Papua.
3. Agust M. Sananai Kraar, SIP,human rights activist/staff
4. Selpius Bobii, activist/staff
5. Dominikus Subarat, activist/staff

Makar accused reject charges, and Indonesian jurisdiction over Papua in adjourned trial (Photo Report)

January 31, 2012

By Nick Chesterfield from West Papua Media with local sources

(Jayapura) The treason trial against the leaders of the Third Papuan People’s Congress in Jayapura was adjourned on Monday until February 8, after a short hearing that Indonesian authorities moved at the last moment preventing many supporters from attending.

The five defendants, President of the Federated Republic of West Papua (FRWP)  Forkorus Yaboisembut, Prime Minister Edison Waromi, together with Congress organisers Selpius Bobii, Dominikus Sorabut and Agus Sananay were charged with makar or treason under Article 106 of KUHP (the Indonesian Criminal Code) for their declaration of an independent West Papua at the close of the Third Papuan People’s Congress on October 19 last year.

Papuan leaders accused of treason on trial in Jayapura, January 30, 2012

The historic Congress was violently broken up by Indonesian security forces using live fire and excessive violence, with at least seven people killed, hundreds beaten and tortured, despite official permission for the event to be held.  Indonesian security officers involved were given minor disciplinary sanction, with most perpetrators of violence enjoying complete impunity despite footage of the Indonesian security force violence being broadcast internationally.

Initial reports from witnesses inside the trial early in the day claimed that the team of judges argued with the defence legal team about the need to know the political position of the defendant’s, despite the fact that in a treason trial this would be self-evident.  Yaboisembut and Waromi then fundamentally rejected the charges against them, arguing that their actions were not treason“.

Forkorus Yobeisembut (Jakarta Globe)

According to Forkorus as reported by the Jakarta Post, “What we have been doing is seeking our own independence. Thus, we have cheated no one,”.  Forkorus argued that Indonesian occupation of his homeland was the real issue, and that ”this problem is not the problem of separatism and rebellion or treason”.  Both Forkorus and Waromi said that the issue of Papua should be tried in international courts as the Indonesian state did not have jurisdiction over Papua.

Forkorus Yaboisembut (Jakarta Globe)

in a short statement sent to West Papua Media, the defendant’s legal team said that the judge asked Forkorus and the accused understood the indictment.  “He answered that, yes, he understood what the prosecutors read but did not understand the charges of treason against them.”

“Forkorus then asked for time to read a statement to the assembly to process the rejection of the  law, (the request of) which was then approved by a judge.   Our attorneys will do the rebuttal (exception) to the indictment dated 8th February 2012,” according to the legal team led by Hamadi.

(Photo: Efraim Joteni)

Bintang Papua reported that another one of the lawyers for the accused, Gustaf Kawer,said that up to 32 lawyers from across Papua and Indonesia had offered pro-bono defence of the treason accused.  He said: ‘I am convinced that  the large number of lawyers who are attracted by the case is a good sign  of interest in the need to find a solution to the problem of Papua.’

Forkorus Yaboisembut and Edison Waromi media interview after trial.(Photo: Efraim Joteni)

The Panel of Judges hearing the trial are Chairman of the Jayapura District Court of Class IA, Jayapura, Papua, Jack John Octovianus, SH. MH,;  assisted by I Ketut Nyoman S, SH. MH. Syor Mambrasar, SH. MH. Orpah Marthina, SH. and Willem Marco Erari, SH.

Outside the court hearing, almost 400 hundred heavily armed riot police and a similar number of Army and Kopassus personnel were guarding the courthouse venue from dawn (0600) with close to a dozen armoured assault vehicles, mounted with heavy machine guns, according to participants.

Protest in support of West Papuan leaders in trial for treason (Photo: Efraim Joteni)
Protest in support of West Papuan leaders in trial for treason (Photo: Efraim Joteni)

Participants in the protest claimed to West Papua Media via SMS that security forces were acting in a heavy-handed manner, describing their actions as “wild and aggressive”.    “This display of armour  makes thousands of ordinary people in Jayapura traumatized and afraid to come to action,” said Jack Wainggai, the spokesman for the Prime Minister of the FRWP, Edison Waromi, on trial for treason today.  Organisers had aimed for several thousand people to attend, but amid heavy  Indonesian security that discouraged solidarity protests by West Papuan supporters of the defendants, only 500-600 braved the heavy armour and “state intimidation” outside the court.

Protest in support of West Papuan leaders in trial for treason (Photo: Efraim Joteni)
Brimob outside makar trial (Photo: West Papua Media)
Brimob outside makar trial (Photo: West Papua Media)
one of almost a dozen armoured vehicles securing outside court venue Jan 30 2012 Jayapura (Photo: West Papua Media)

Despite promises by Indonesian authorities that the trials would be open, the presiding judges secretly started proceedings at 8.30 am before supporter could arrive.   In a press statement before the trial, Bintang Papua reported that Olga Hamadi of Kontras Papua said, “The five men will face charges under Article 106 of the Criminal Code for subversion. Based on past experience, there are concerns regarding security during the trial which will be open to the public, meaning that anyone wishing to attend the trial will be able to do so.”  Hamadi urged all present to restrain themselves and ensure that conditions surrounding the trial are conducive.

Speculation has mounted amongst local observers that the trial may be moved from Jayapura to metropolitan Indonesia to reduce any potential political flashpoint it will cause amongst pro-independence forces in Papua, with the prosecutor’s office formally warning of such a move should unrest occur.   Conversely though, any shift would create more opportunities for international observers to be present at the trial, a basic condition called for by the defence and international human rights monitors.

After the adjournment, the few hundred that did attend were able to disperse peacefully without an Indonesian security force crackdown, but tension still remains high in Jayapura as armed troops are still deployed on the streets the following day.

Elsewhere in Papua, solidarity actions were held with the treason trials against the Congress leaders.   In Manokwari, orations were held calling for international peacekeepers to be deployed to protect West Papuan people from Indonesian state violence.  Calls were also made in Manokwari  for neutral international mediators for dialogue between Jakarta and the Federated Republic of West Papua.