Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of the LP3BH
20 November 2015
On behalf of the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development of Legal Aid – Manokwari [LP3BH], I welcome the release of one of the pro-Papua Merdeka political prisoners, Filep Karma on 19 November 2015.
Bapak [Father] Filep Karma is now a former political prisoner. He was arrested on 1 December 2004 and was sentenced to fifteen years at his trial at the District Court of Jayapura on 26 May, 2005. Karma was charged for an action under Article 106 and Article 110 of the Criminal Code [KUHP].
He has spent more than ten years in prison for activities that he was involved in in accordance with the principles of the freedom of
expression and the freedom of assembly. On that occasion, he made a speech and raised the Morning Star Flag on 1 December 2004. He refrained from any actions of violence nor was he armed with any weapons.
Despite all that, he was one of a number of people who were arrested, imprisoned and charged in a Court of Law by a State that simply ignored his basic rights as a free citizen, entitled to protection under Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia.
During his imprisonment, he was treated in ways that are in violation of humanitarianism and basic human rights that are universally recognised.
The only thing he was doing was to give expression to his opinions that are in conflict with the views of the State. His actions on that
occasion did not in any way destabilise anything politically or disrupt law and order.
The LP3BH calls on the Government of Indonesia and the Head of State, President Ir H. Joko Widodo to take the opportunity of release
of Filip Karma to launching a series of actions to release all the political prisoners, including those who have been tried (napol), who
are serving sentences in a number of prisons in towns and cities throughout the Land of West Papua.
Take for example the cases of three activists of the KNPB [National Committee of West Papua], Alexander Nekenem, Maikel Aso aka
Yoram Magai and Narko Murib aka Nopinus Humawak who were tried in the District Court in Manokwari. They too, like Filep Karma, were accused of inciting other people to get involved in activities violating the law and charged under Article 160 of the KUHP, together with Article 55 of the Criminal Code.
At a subsequent hearing in their trial, on 19 November, the Prosecutor called for the three men to be sentenced to two years each, with deduction for the time already spent in prison.
These charges were extremely severe for the three accused who had refrained from perpetrating any acts of violence nor did they incite others to engage in any unlawful activities. Nothing that they did resulted in anyone else being killed or injured or cause any material
damage on that day, 20 May, 2015 in Amban-Manokwari, Province of West Papua.
[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipent of the Right Livelihod Award, 1995]