JAYAPURA, Amnesty International called upon the Indonesian government to release Forkorus Yoboisembut and the Jayapura 5, now facing 5 years in prison for “treason” (Makar).
“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 International is also concerned with the lack of progress on the part of the government to follow up on the findings of the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia (Komnas HAM) that human rights violations were committed by Indonesian security forces at the Papua People’s Congress III on October 19, 2011, leaving three people dead and resulting in the mistreatment of dozens of other 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.
“The government should also repeal or revise all laws used to criminalize freedom of expression, in particular Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code,” he explained.
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.