Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Papuan court jails two more over mine protest

A court in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua ailed two people for five and six years each for taking part in violent protests against a US-run mine, AFP reported. Hundreds of protesters clashed with security officers in March near Papua's capital Jayapura over the mine run by Freeport-McMoran, leaving six people dead. The Jayapura district court found Selpius Bobi, 22, guilty of "inciting others to commit violence" during the melee and sentenced him to five years, said lawyer Iwan Niode. He said the court also sentenced 20-year-old Elias Tamaka to six years for "resisting against authorities by using force" during the clash.

"We are going to file an appeal this Friday for the pair and for Nelson Rumbiak and the other 10 defendants," Niode told AFP. Niode refused to attend the trial, charging that it was a "theatrical act" and that his clients were innocent. The same court on Monday sentenced Rumbiak to six years while 10 of his co-defendants were jailed for five years. Sixteen Papuans, mostly students, have been standing trial accused of stoking the violence in Papua's Abepura, which left five security personnel and one civilian dead.

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