West Papuan leader Victor Yeimo indicted on ‘treason’ charges

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West Papuan human rights defender Victor Yeimo
West Papuan human rights defender Victor Yeimo receiving medical treatment ... accused of "treason" for pushing for West Papua's independence. Image: RNZ

RNZ Pacific

West Papuan human rights defender Victor Yeimo has been formally indicted on charges of “treason” by Indonesian authorities at the Jayapura District Court.

The authorities have been trying to get Yeimo, who is the leader of the pro-independence West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in court since May last year.

In the indictment he is accused of treason for pushing for West Papua’s independence.

The court hearing was on Monday and he is due to appear again on Friday.

Yeimo had been arrested by police in Jayapura in May last year after they had been seeking to arrest him for two years.

The arrest was because Yeimo called for a referendum on Papuan independence during anti-racism protests which ended in riots in Papua and West Papua provinces in 2019.

He had initially gone to court in August last year but he was very ill and his lawyers sought a postponement.

Yeimo’s international lawyer, Veronica Koman, said at that time that he was so ill he could die at anytime.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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