Karma: ‘We reject the term ‘narapidana politik’

by Oktovianus Pogau at Suara Papua, with additional reporting from West Papua Media
27 May 2013

PAPUA, Jayapura:  Filep Karma, who is a political prisoner being held in the Abepura Prison, refuses to accept the use of the term ‘Narapidana  Politik‘  or ‘Napol’ (convicted political prisoner) which is used for him and about forty of his colleagues who are being detained in various prisons in the Land of Papua.

Filep Karma, Prisoner of Conscience and Political Prisoner, not Convict. (Photo: SuaraPapua)
‘We feel more comfortable with the term ‘Tahanan Politik‘ – tapol – or political prisoner. Using the term ‘napol’ suggests that we committed acts of violence for which we were imprisoned.’

He went on to say that the vast majority of political prisoners were being held because of their political beliefs and not because they had committed any acts of violence or other crimes.

Several separate SMS messages were received by West Papua Media from various Tapols including Karma at Abepura prison, that read:

“We here have all jointly agreed that we want to change the term of Tapol-Napol used for us to instead TAHANAN POLITIK PAPUA MERDEKA (Political Prisoners Papua Liberation)”  (Emphasis from original Bahasa Indonesia message maintained).

Earlier, there were reports in the media  under the heading: ‘Papuan Political Prisoners reject Amnesty from the Indonesian Government, according to which around 25 political prisoners now being detained in Abepura Prison declared that the reject either ‘clemency’ or ‘amnesty’ which has been offered to them by the Indonesian government, via the intermediary of the Department for Law and Human Rights.

‘All we want and demand is for the Papuan people to be freed from being colonised by the colonial Indonesian government,’ he said in a statement issued by the tapols which was sent to the media.

[Simultaneous Translations by TAPOL and West Papua Media]

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