Sep 05, 2012

South Moluccas: Clinton Urged To Speak Out For Imprisoned Peaceful Activists

Human Rights Watch calls on Clinton to remind Indonesia that persecuting peaceful political activists violates international law and is unjust, hence they should be released.

Below is an article published by the Jakarta Post:


A human rights watchdog has called on the United States' Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to support the release of all Indonesian political prisoners who are being held for the peaceful expression of their political views.


New York-based Human Rights Watch maintained that Indonesia had incarcerated nearly 100 activists from Maluku and Papua for peacefully voicing their political views, holding demonstrations and/or raising separatist flags.


“The US should remind the Indonesian government that persecuting peaceful political activists is an injustice that violates international law," the group’s Asia advocacy director, John Sifton, stated in a release obtained by The Jakarta Post on Sunday.


The human rights watchdog expects Clinton to discuss the matter during her upcoming visit to Jakarta this Monday.


Moreover, the group said some prisoners, such as Filep Karma, 53, from Papua, and Ferdinand Waas, 64, from Maluku, had severe health problems but had so far received insufficient medical care.


"Clinton should also call on Indonesian authorities to provide adequate health care for all prisoners," the watchdog stated.


Karma was sentenced to 15 years in jail for raising the outlawed Morning Star flag in Jayapura in 2004, while Waas, a former traditional village leader, was convicted for his alleged involvement in the South Maluku Republic (RMS) separatist flag-waving event in front of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2007.


Last year, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion that Indonesia was violating international law by detaining Karma, and called for his immediate release.