Indonesia Reports 34 Political Prisoners Currently Incarcerated In Papua

Indonesia Reports 34 Political Prisoners Currently Incarcerated In Papua

Antara News Agency / BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific
July 13, 2010

Text of report by Indonesian government-owned news agency Antara website
[Unattributed article: 'Tapol dan Napol di Papua Berjumlah 34 Orang']

The office of the Justice and Human Rights Ministry in Papua Province has categorised 34 individuals currently in the province's prisons as political prisoners.

"Not all of these individuals were imprisoned for subversion, some were involved in other political actions," said Head of the Justice and Human Rights Office in Papua Province Nazarudin Bunas on 9 July 2010.

He added that the office conducted the research on the request of Justice and Human Rights Minister Patralis Akbar who spoke with an inmate during a recent visit to Abepura Prison in Jayapura.

"At the time, Akbar felt sorry [for the inmates] and promised to find a solution for those found guilty of subversion and other political actions. He felt that it all started with their disappointment which actually related to their dissatisfaction with the situation in Papua, such as economic problems and their low earnings, and that it wasn't that they actually wanted independence or an insurrection," said Bunas.

As a result of Akbar's visit, two political prisoners, Yusak Pakage and Cosmos Yual, were granted clemency by the President and released on 7 July.

"We hope the granting of clemency to and conditional release of political prisoners in Papua, such as Pakage and Yual, will be a milestone in the reduction of prison terms for other political prisoners," Bunas said.