Amnesty Calls for Release of Forkorus and colleagues

Bintang Papua, 8 March 2012Jayapura: Amnesty International has called on the Indonesian Government to release Forkorus and his colleagues. This follows the demand made in court by the prosecutor for the five men to be sentenced to five years.

‘On 5 March, the prosecutor demanded that Forkrus Yaboisembut, Selfius Bobii, Dominikus Sorabut, Edison Waromi and Agust Sananay Kraar be sentenced to five years imprisonment. Amnesty believes that the men were arrested and have been detained simply for exercising their human rights peacefully, in particular their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,’ said Josep Roy Benedict, member of Amnesty’s team which campaigns for Indonesia and Timor Leste.

Amnesty declared that the five men are ‘prisoners of conscience’ and called for their immediate and unconditional release.

‘Amnesty is also concerned about the lack of progress being made by the Indonesian Government in response to the meeting of Indonesia’s National Commission for Human Rights which stated that abuses of human rights  had been committed by the Indonesian security forces at the time of the Third Papuan Congress on 19 October 2011, whcih resulted in the deaths of three persons and the maltreatment of dozens of participants,’ he said. The five men should be tried in a court that conforms with international standards of justice. In a number of recent internal disciplinary sessions, government officials have only been subjected to administrative sanctions.

He went on to say that the government must repeal or revise all laws that are being used to criminalise freedom of expression, in particular Article 106 of the Criminal Code.

Meanwhile, according to the Prosecutor, his demand for a five-year sentence for Forkorus and the other four is appropriate. He was responding to the views that have been expressed in some circles pointing out that in previous makar cases, the sentences have been higher that five years, even as high as twenty years or life imprisonment.

The Prosecutor Julius D Teuf said  that anyone who has followed the court hearings  will understand that the five defendants were guilty of making certain attempts. ‘Their intention was to establish a new state but they were not successful  because of the actions by the security forces and this is why we think that our demand for the five men is adequate.’

The next hearing of the trial of Forkorus and his colleagues is due to take place on Friday, 9 March.

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