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Home » » INDONESIA: 'Saying that there are no political prisoners in Papua is a Lie' — Asian Human Rights Commission

INDONESIA: 'Saying that there are no political prisoners in Papua is a Lie' — Asian Human Rights Commission

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on March 13, 2012 | 6:57 PM

We wish to share with you the following statement written by a group of human rights activists published in Bintang Papua.

Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong

------------- 7 March 2012

Following a statement that has just been made by Amir Syamsuddin, the Minister for Law and Human Rights claiming that there are no political prisoners (tapol/napol) in Papua, various human rights groups as well as Mama Yosepha, the Director of  the Human Rights and Anti-Violence Foundation, and Markus Haluk, a well known Papuan human rights activist, have responded.

Mama Yosepha and Markus Haluk said: 'This statement by the Minister for Law and Human Rights shows the extent of the lies being made in public, which came after the dialogue organised by Amnesty International  last November. The Minister said that there were no political prisoners in Papua, only criminal prisoners. This is in line with the racist policies that are used against the Papuan people,' said Markus Haluk.

Mama Yosepha and Markus Haluk said: 'We are well aware of the denials and lies continually being spread by the Indonesian government through the Minister for Law and Human Rights. This is happening systematically in relation to the true facts that are known to the Papuan people. Since late 2011, five political prisoners have been on trial, Forkorus and his four colleagues, who are facing the charge of makar - treason - in connection with the declaration made by the Federal Republic of West Papua in October 2011 on Zakheus Square, Jayapura. In addition, from 2008 - 2010, sixteen political prisoners have been in custody in Manokwari while in Fak-Fak there are as many as sixteen prisoners, as well as fifteen in Nabire, four in Mamberamo Raya, one in Biak who is being held in  Abepura prison, and of all these, four are convicted prisoners, plus another six in Timika , which means that from 2008 to the present there have been 67 political prisoners.'

Markus went on to say that there are around ten political prisoners being held in connection with the assault on the ammunition dump in Wamena in 2003 who are now in  custody in Nabire and Biak prisons,while Filep Karma has been in custody since 2004, having been sentenced to fifteen years  and is being held in Abepura Prison, which brings the total since 2008 to seventy-two tapols and napols (tapol refers to detainees, while napol refers to convicted prisoners).
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