The trial against the eight Papuan activists: Mr Melvin Yobe, 29, Mr Melvin Fernando Waine, 25, Mr Zode Hilapok, 27, Mr Devion Tekege, 23, Mr Yosep Ernesto Matuan, 19, Mr Maksimus Simon Petrus You, 18, Mr Lius Kitok Uropmabin, 21, and Mr Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere, 21 was launched at the Jayapura District Court.
The eight activists had raised a flag with the Morning Star – a symbol of cultural identity for indigenous West Papuans – in front of the Jayapura sports hall (GOR Cenderawasih) on 1 December 2021. They unwrapped a banner, demanding self-determination, a visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to West Papua and the stop of militarism in West Papua. They have been accused of treason as regulated under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) and conspiracy against the state as stipulated in Article 110 KUHP. The articles carry maximum penalties of up to twenty years.
A first court hearing on 19 April 2022 was adjourned because two defendants tested positive for COVID-19 while the others had to remain in quarantine. The trial was finally launched on 17 May 2022 (see photo, source: Jubi). One of the defendants, Mr Zode Hilapok, was again not able to attend the trial due to an acute Tuberculosis infection. The panel of judges decided to separate the law enforcement process against Mr Hilapok and indefinitely suspend the trial against him until he is fully recovered. The trial against the seven other activists will continue on 24 May 2022.