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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Indonesia jails Aceh negotiators
Indonesian soldier in Aceh
Indonesia wants to crush the separatist rebels
An Indonesian court has given long jail sentences to three negotiators for Aceh's separatist rebels.

Sofyan Ibrahim Tiba was found guilty of "breaking anti-terror and criminal laws", even though he took part in internationally-arranged peace talks.

Two fellow negotiators from the Free Aceh Movement (Gam) were also sentenced, and a human rights activist, Cut Nur Asikin, was jailed for treason.

Indonesia has cracked down hard on Gam since declaring martial law in May.

Tiba and fellow Gam negotiators Teungku Muhamad Lampo Awe and Amni bin Achmad Marzuki have been detained since martial law was declared.

They were first arrested on their way to the airport to join peace talks in Tokyo.

They were released as the Tokyo talks began, but rearrested when negotiations broke down.

On Tuesday, the court said Tiba had planned to collect taxes in Aceh to buy weapons for Gam rebels. He was sentenced to 15 years.

The court was told that Awe had violated anti-terrorism laws by planning acts of arson, murder and bombings. He was sentenced to 13 years.

Lawyers for the defendants have criticised their detentions and trials as politically inspired.

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HDC), which helped broker the talks, expressed its concern about the convictions.

"We hope that these convictions are not, in any way, a result of the activities they carried out as negotiators in the peace process," the HDC said.

Cut Nur Asyikin was jailed for 11 years for treason.


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