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Four Papuan students acquitted of subversion charges by ‘brave’ court

14-Star West Papua flag

The 14-Star West Papua flag ... protest ensign against Indonesian rule. Graphic: AKRockefeller

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Tapol/West Papua Media

Four of the five Papuan students accused of makar – subversion –  have been acquitted by a court in Manokwari and will be released immediately, according to a  report received  today from the defence legal team.

They had faced the charge  in connection with their involvement in an event to mark the anniversary of the  proclamation of the Independence of the Republic of West Melanesia  in the Indonesian-ruled province last December 14.

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 the men were the victims of mistaken arrest and investigation by the police who took them into custody.

This item was filed by a correspondent of  West Papua News Alerts.