The Australian: Pleas for help as Papuans face treason charges
FOUR leaders in West Papua charged with treason after organising a prayer meeting to support Australians sailing on the Freedom Flotilla to the disputed region could be jailed for decades and have appealed to the Australian government for help.
The Papuans, described as peaceful activists by Amnesty International, say police have told them to expect 20-year jail terms for the treason charges, whose use was recently criticised in the British parliament for muzzling free speech in West Papua.
Australian legal figures, including one of the country’s most renowned jurists and human rights advocates, Elizabeth Evatt, yesterday criticised the charges and backed a plea of one of the four accused, Yohanis Goram, for help from the Australian government.
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