The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) is calling for the immediate release of political prisoners in Indonesia. Sign the petition HERE.
Recently, Indonesian prosecutors demanded sentences of five to 17 years for seven high-profile West Papuan political prisoners detained in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan (Borneo). These activists were arrested during a wave of protest triggered by recorded incidents of racist police violence last year. Tens of thousands joined an uprising against racism and for self-determination for West Papua.
While prosecutors asked for jail terms of 5-17 years, the judges showed some leniency. The activists were sentenced from 10 to 11 months in prison for their acts of protest. Tapol wrote: “During their trials, prosecutors and judges focused on putting the political beliefs of the Seven on trial, rather than the riots which they were alleged to have masterminded.”
In response to the Uprising, the Indonesian government implemented an extreme crackdown, illegally blocking internet access and deploying more than 10,000 security personnel to West Papua. Human rights groups have found that at least 61 residents, demonstrators and police were killed. In addition, more than 100 indigenous West Papuans were arbitrarily arrested.
56 people were arbitrarily detained on treason charges. Ten of them have since been released after serving their full sentences, ranging from eight to nine months in jail.
Sign the petition HERE