Papuans challenge Indonesian rule at country's highest court

Lawyers are challenging Indonesia's incorporation of the volatile Papua region into its territory in 1969 with a judicial review at the country's highest court.

A spokesman for a group of 15 Papuan lawyers, Agus Sumule, said Thursday the "Act of Free Choice" referendum violated Indonesia's Constitution because it was conducted in a way that grossly violated the human rights of Papuans.

The 1969 referendum, supervised by the U.N., was carried out in an atmosphere of heavy intimidation and only 1,026 Papuans were allowed to vote.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the Papua issue is "finished."

He said, "For us, Papua cannot be discussed anymore, Papua has been recognized internationally with the U.N.'s decision as part of Indonesia's territory."