11 Aug 2008

Indonesia to reject US congressmen's demand for release of two Papuan prisoners

2:20 pm on 11 August 2008

The Indonesian government is set to reject a demand by United States congressmen for the release of two Papuan prisoners.

Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were jailed for 15 years and 10 years respectively in 2005 for hoisting the Papuan nationalist Morning Star flag.

40 US Congressmen signed a recent letter to Indonesia's President demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the two Papuans.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda has said he will soon reply to the letter, asking the US to respect his country's legal decision.

He said that exercising the freedom of human rights does not mean shunning responsibility, describing the Papuans' flag-raising as an act of rebellion against Indonesia.

However John Miller of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network says Jakarta cannot justify the imprisonment:


IN:......It's just wrong.. to imprison people for the peaceful protest of their views. And it just doesn't depend on what those views are... that's a universal human right and the universal declaration of human rights, and that's something that Indonesia has signed on to and they should be respecting.

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John Miller