27 May 2013

Papuan political prisoners reject Indonesian clemency offer

7:42 pm on 27 May 2013

Jailed West Papuan leaders have reportedly rejected the Indonesian President's promise to free all Papuan political prisoners.

In a statement signed by 30 political prisoners in Abepura Prison, the inmates say they do not need to be released, but that rather the whole of Papua should be released from the colonisation of Indonesia.

The signatures include long-serving Filep Karma as well as West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, leader Victor Yeimo who was arrested and detained earlier this month.

He was arrested with four others during a peaceful demonstration to mark the 50th anniversary of Indonesia's takeover of the province.

At least three protestors were killed by police and up to 20 arrested.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised last week to free all Papuan political prisoners, as part of the government's planned so-called special autonomy plus programme.

There are estimated to be up to 50 Papuan political prisoners jailed for taking part in rallies and raising the banned Morning Star flag.