Photo: Marion Unger/WCC

Photo: Marion Unger/WCC

In a statement to the president of the Republic of Indonesia, Papuan religious leaders are urging justice for seven defendants on trial in the Balikpapan - East Kalimantan District Court who held a demonstration because they were rejecting racist treatment. “But the indictments and charges at the trial were very different from the data and facts in the field,” reads the statement. “They are victims of racism but they have been accused of treason.”

In court trials, various legal decisions have been taken that do not favour justice and truth, the statement reads. “The legal facts that were proven in court were not respected and the judge's decision favoured the policies of the government and those who had money,” the text reads. “The facts on the ground are that the cases of hate speech and racist acts that occurred outside the land of Papua were aimed at Papuan students.”

The religious leaders of Papua said they firmly reject all forms of injustice and racism. “We convey this in order to help the government achieve long-term political stability and security, specifically in Papua and Indonesia in general,” reads the statement. “We are religious leaders who are always side by side with people hoping for long-term security, harmony and peace.”

Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC)