Sorong – Four Political Prisoners on Treason Charges

Four of the individuals in Sorong are student activists and were arrested on 18 September 2019 for organising a protest the same day. Each of the individuals — Rianto Ruruk, Yoseph Syufi, Manase Baho and Ethus Miwak Kareth — were charged under Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code. Police arrested Rianto Ruruk and Ethus Kareth 30 minutes after they delivered speeches in front of Anda Malanu shop while waiting for protesters led by Yoseph Syufi and Manase Baho who were on their way from Universitas Kristen Papua to join them. The two were arrested as well. The initial plan was to march together to the mayor’s office. Police accused them of flying Morning Star flags while in fact they were only wearing Morning Star stickers. Their trial began on 5 March 2020. Prosecutors sought one year and four month jail terms. They were found guilty of treason and sentenced to eight months and 15 days in jail. They were released on 31 May 2020.