Veronica Koman Rallies Support for Papuans Charged for Treason

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vocal human rights activist on Papua issues, Veronica Koman, remains adamant that the Balikpapan High Court should completely acquit the defendant of a treason case, Irwanus Uropmabin, of all charges. 

    The panel of judges at Balikpapan high court on Wednesday, June 17, sentenced Irwanus Uropmabin to 10-months imprisonment, reduced by the jail time the defendant had already undergone. 

    Irwanus is a Papuan student of the Science and Technology University of Jayapura (USTJ) charged for treason. He was arrested for protesting the racial acts committed against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java in 2019. 

    The public prosecutor initially charged him to five-years imprisonment. 

    “[The defendant] should have been acquitted and be found not guilty. But a 10-month sentence is an improvement which means he will be set free soon. But if the public attorney appeals [the decision], it would suggest that the attorney is racist,” said Veronica Koman in the online #PapuanLivesMatter oration held by Amnesty International, June 17. 

    Another political prisoner, Fery Kombo, had also undergone court hearing at the Balikpapan high court and was also sentenced to 10-months imprisonment. 

    The #PapuanLivesMatter online oration was intentionally held to give voice and demand justice for the seven defendants that Amnesty International deems as political prisoners, who are all charged for treason. 

    The movement also urges President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to free the prisoners from Papua by acquitting all charges.

    Read more: Amnesty International Urges Jokowi to Release Papua Activists 

    DEWI NURITA