Update on treason trial in Sorong – All defendants acquitted

Judges at the Sorong District Court acquitted the six Papuan defendants Ham Nauw, Wenceslaus Saud, Cris Djanoma, Bertus Fenitruma, Jhon Bless and Doni Pattiruhu (see photo, Source: LBH Kaki Abu). The verdict was pronounced on 29 September 2021. The judges concluded that the evidence presented at court was insufficient to prove the defendants’ involvement in a treasonous act or criminal conspiracy against the state as stipulated in Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP).

The two trials against the six activists were launched on 18 May 2021. They had been arrested on 27 November 2020 during a peaceful demonstration in Sorong. People had gathered with Morning star flags and banners peacefully calling upon the Indonesian Government to recognize the proclamation of the Republic of West Papua New Guinea by a Papuan independence group at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 November 1997.