1) Indonesian leader to free Papua political prisoners
JAYAPURA, INDONESIA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo was expected to announce the release of several political prisoners in the restive eastern province of Papua Saturday, seeking to repair a rights record left in tatters by the recent execution of foreigners.
Soldiers and police man a checkpoint in Mimika, in Indonesia's restive Papua region, where separatists have for decades fought a low-level insurgency against the central government.
The move was due on a trip to Papua by the president, during which AFP was granted rare access to a province that has a heavy military and police presence and is largely shut off to foreign media.A group of men, convicted over a 2003 raid on an Indonesian military weapons arsenal, are set to walk free from a prison near Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, after being granted clemency by Widodo.
Separatists in Papua have for decades fought a low-level insurgency against the central government, and dozens are in jail for committing treason for acts such as raising the separatist "Morning Star" flag and taking part in anti-government protests.
The release would mark a change in approach from previous governments. During the 10-year rule of previous president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, only one political prisoner in Papua was granted clemency, according to Human Rights Watch.
Widodo, who took office in October, has pledged to improve livelihoods in Papua, which remains deeply poor and underdeveloped compared to other parts of Indonesia despite its abundant natural resources.
However activists said releasing a handful of prisoners was not enough, and accused Widodo of seeking to burnish his image.
The president has faced a storm of international outrage since putting to death seven foreigners last week, with Australia withdrawing its ambassador over the execution of two of its citizens and the United Nations expressing deep regret.
Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the move was "more like image-making".
"It's a good step but it's nothing new," he said, calling on Widodo to go further by granting prisoners an amnesty.
Prisoners have to request clemency and admit guilt before it is granted, unlike with an amnesty. Some prisoners in Papua have repeatedly refused to seek clemency when invited to do so by the government.
There are still regular flare-ups of violence in Papua, where poorly-armed insurgents are fighting on behalf of the mostly ethnic Melanesian population.
Indonesian troops are regularly accused of abusing Papuan villagers in the name of anti-rebel operations, but Jakarta denies allegations of systematic human rights abuses.
Jakarta took control of Papua, which forms half of the island of New Guinea, in 1963 from former colonial power the Netherlands.
2) Jokowi would pardon the Five Give Prisoners Papua
Author: Admin MS | Saturday, May 9, 2015 10:50 Reads: 212 Comments: 2
Papua people behind bars. Photo: Ist.
Jayapura, STEP MAGAZINE - During the visit of President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo to Papua, has scheduled to give pardons to five political prisoners (political prisoners) as well as giving general amnesty to a number of other political prisoners who are in Penitentiary (Prison) scattered throughout the Land Papua on Saturday (05/09/2015).
Fifth Prisoners who will breathe the fresh air of which is, Jafray Murib, Prisoners with life sentences of Class IA Abepura Prison, Jayapura; Numbungga Telenggen, Prisoners with life sentences from Biak prison; Apot Lokobal, Prisoners with a sentence of 20 years of prison Biak. As well as Kimanus Wenda, Prisoners with 20 years of prison sentence Nabire and Linus Hiluka, Prisoners with 20 years of prison sentence Nabire.
Reported tapanews.com, one of the detainees in a case of burglary arsenal in Wamena, Jafray Tabuni pleased to be freed after clutching for 12 in the bars.
"I am pleased to be able to pardon today because for 12 years I was imprisoned on a life sentence, I'm finally free," said Jafray Murib, one of the political prisoners would receive a pardon from President Jokowi.
The fifth convict attorney who also directress Democratic Alliance for Papua (ALDP), Latifah Anum Siregar, giving appreciation for the president's decision in the hope that other political prisoners received the same thing.
"I also hope the President Jokowi also give clemency to the other political prisoners so that Indonesia is becoming the new democracies in the world," said Anum. (MC2 / Admin / MS)