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AWPA condemns harsh sentences on defendants in the Kisor attack

Australian West Papua Association (Sydney) Statement - June 4, 2022

Six defendants on trial for the attack on the Kisor Military Post in Maybrat Regency West Papua, were sentenced to between 18 and 20 years in prison on the 31 May.

Three of the defendants are minors. From the beginning of the trial the defendants' legal advisory team has stated that three of the defendants are minors and requested that all three be tried in a juvenile court. However, the panel of judges denied their request.

The Kisor military post was attacked on the 2 September 2021 by an armed group resulting in 4 soldiers killed.

The resulting security force operation in the hunt for the attackers caused over 3000 people (approximately 500 were children) to flee from over 50 villages in the area, in fear for their lives.

A number of reports raised concern about the conduct of the trial.

The defendants were transferred from Sorong to Makassar without their family members being informed. It also made providing them with legal representation more difficult. They were given the name "Sorong Six" because of their transfer from Sorong.

But there are doubts about how fair the trial has been. The accused were subjected to beatings and torture.

A campaign video by TAPOL, LBH Kaki Abu, and LBH Makassar, called for the release of the six political prisoners from Sorong.

Video. Sorong Six: Tortured Repeatedly, Transported Secretly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yESnGa2GmVA

Annual Leaders' Meeting with President Widodo in Jakarta

Joe Collins of AWPA said, "our new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is visiting Indonesia on the 5 June for the Annual Leaders' Meeting with President Widodo. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong and a number of ministers including Australian business leaders".

"Although regional security, trade and defence ties will be the priority in the talks, it is hoped that the human rights situation in West Papua will also be raised in the meetings. For too long West Papua seems to be a "no go area"in talks with the Indonesian Government."

"We are continually told we have a special relationship with Indonesia. The Prime Minister should urge Jakarta to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua to investigate the human rights situation in the territory. That's what the West Papuans want."

The issue of West Papua is not going away as the protests in Jayapura showed yesterday.

Thousands of protestors took to the streets yesterday (3 June) to protest Jakarta's a plan to create new provinces and against the special autonomy status. There were a number of arrests and some demonstrators were beaten.

Source: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2022/06/awpa-condemns-harsh-sentences-on.htm