JAYAPURA, Indonesia – An Indonesian court has found a Papuan activist guilty of treason and sentenced him to 10 months in prison for promoting a petition calling for a referendum on independence for the region.
Yanto Awerkion was arrested last May in Timika near the U.S.-owned Grasberg gold and copper mine that's a lightning rod for Papuan grievances. He will be released within weeks because of time served.
Awerkion, the deputy chairman of the Timika chapter of the West Papua National Committee, was sentenced on Monday at the Timika District Court.
The 28-year-old was arrested after speaking at a meeting where he announced the petition had been signed by hundreds of thousands of Papuans.
Papua, a former Dutch colony, was annexed by Indonesia in 1962, sparking a simmering insurgency.