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Release Papuan Prisoners: HRW

December 13, 2010

The Jakarta Post
Monday, December 13, 2010

Release Papuan Prisoners: HRW

JAKARTA: The Indonesian authorities must immediately allow two Papuan
political prisoners to meet with attorneys and to challenge their
transfer from prison to police custody, according to the Human Rights
Watch (HRW).

The prisoners, Filep Karma, 51, and Buchtar Tabuni, 31, have been held
at the Jayapura Police station in West Papua, after a riot erupted at
Abepura prison on Dec. 3.

HRW deputy director for Asia Elaine Pearson said the Indonesian
authorities should explain why Filep and Buchtar had been thrown in a
police lock-up and denied access to counsel.

"Prisoners have rights too, and ignoring those rights is no way to
celebrate Human Rights Day," she said in a press statement marking the
day on Dec. 10.

HRW reiterated its call for the Indonesian government to immediately
free more than 130 Papuan and Moluccan activists imprisoned for
peacefully expressing their political views.

The New York-based human rights organization also asked the government
to reform laws and policies to protect the freedom of expression.

According to HRW, the Jayapura Police chief, Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam
Setiawan said the police had "secured" Karma and Tabuni at the
Jayapura Police station for provoking a riot that occurred at Abepura
prison following an attempted prison break on Dec. 3, when a prisoner
was shot and killed. Karma and Tabuni informed Federika Korain of the
United Papuan People’s Democracy Forum (Fordem) that they were
transferred to the police station without being told that they had
committed an offense, HRW press release went on.– JP


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