Demo calling on the court to review the sentences passed against Buchtar Tabuni and Sebby Sembom PDF Afdrukken

Cenderawasih Pos, 17 September 2009
Abridged in translation

A demonstration took place in Abepura and outside the district court in
Jayapura on Wednesday calling on the court to review the sentences
passed against Buchtar Tabuni and Sebby Sembom (both serving prison
terms for demonstrating in support of the International Parliamentarians
for West Papua set up in London last October).

As they marched from the post office in Abepura, they called on
passers-by to join them in demonstrating peacefully. Although at this
point they were few in number, they were guarded by police.

As their numbers grew, they marched towards the district court in
Jayapura, but as they approached the court, they were prevented from
entering the building. After talks with the police, they eventually
agreed to the police insistence that they could not enter the court and
were provided with a police truck to drive them to the high court.

Leader of the group Usman Dogome called on the government to open up
democratic space and the rule of law in West Papua and urged the high
court and the Indonesian government to review the sentences of the two
men. 'We urge the government and the international communtiy to take
action to resolve the human rights problems in West Papua by means of
tri-lateral talks.'

On arriving at the high court, another leader in the group read out the
demands of the demonstrators.

First, for the government and the international community to solve the
West Papuan problem by means of dialogue.
Second, to open up democratic space in West Papua.
Third, for the court to review the convictions for rebellion of Tabuni
and Sembom, and to release them.

Deputy head of the high court, Fransiskus Lopi expressed greetings to
the demonstrators for voicing their concern about injustices. 'All such
struggles,' he said, 'take time and patience.' He also said that the
court only had the power to handle cases filed before it. What the
demonstrators were calling for, he said, was a political matter and
should be submitted to the government and the people's representatives.

But he promised to convey the information about their demands to the
authorities.

demo for court