19 Aug 2015

After 10 years, West Papua activist looks set to walk free

8:23 pm on 19 August 2015

The West Papuan political activist, Filep Karma, is reportedly close to walking free after ten years in prison.

West Papuan independence activist Filep Karma.

West Papuan independence activist Filep Karma. Photo: Eben Kirksey

Indonesia's government has reportedly guaranteed Mr Karma's security and freedom of speech once he leaves prison.

Late last week, he rejected an offer of remission on Indonesia's National Independence Day, which was two days ago, saying he would only accept an unconditional release.

Mr Karma has been serving a 15-year jail sentence for treason in Papua's Abepura Prison, after he raised the banned Morning Star flag at a political rally in 2004.

He said he would be happy to walk free the day after National Day, as long as his release was "unconditional".

Mr Karma says he did not commit any crime by raising the flag, and would continue to campaign for West Papuan independence.

Indonesian CNN reports the government as signalling that once out of prison, Filep Karma is free to exercise his democratic rights.

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