Jokowi Frees 5 Papuan Political Prisoners

Image from: indonesiatimur.co
Image from: indonesiatimur.co

On June 9, 2015, President Joko Widodo granted clemency to 5 political prisoners of separatist members of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) held in Abepura Prison, Jayapura. Clemency was given by President Jokowi to stop the stigma of conflict inherent in Papua.

 

In a series of visits to Papua, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) also visited the Abepura Penitentiary in Kamkey Urban Kota Baru, Abepura District. “On this day we have freed these five people. This is the wholehearted effort of the government in order to stop the stigma of conflict in Papua,” said President Jokowi in his speech.

The five political prisoners were convicted of involvement in the breaking of the Kodim 1710/Wamena armory in 2003. Previously their detention was moved to Penitentiary (Lapas) Makassar and then returned to Papua. These five political prisoners are in prison Abepura to complete the administration of clemency with prison officers.

The five released political prisoners are Apotnalogolik Lokobal (20 years in prison), Numbungga Telenggen (life imprisonment), Kimanus Wenda (19 years in prison), Linus Hiluka (19 years in prison) and Jefrai Murib (life imprisonment). In addition, 3 out of 5 political prisoners who received clemency at that time were immediately freed from the IIA Abepura Prison, Papua.

According to the President, the granting of this clemency is the first step to build Papua without any conflict. The President wants the granting of this clemency to be seen in the framework of reconciliation for the realization of a peaceful Papua. “This is just the beginning, later after this will be followed up granting clemency or amnesties for other areas because there are approximately 90 people who are still in prison. This is the beginning of the liberation, “said Jokowi.

The President affirmed his wish that efforts to build Papua should be done with a development approach and welfare approach. “Therefore, we would like to invite all, both in and in the mountains. Forget the past, we want to look all ahead. Do not want to leverage ago, then open a new page, “Jokowi added.

President Jokowi promised to coordinate with the Military Regional Command (Kodam) down to approach it by building and prospering Papua. “TNI build infrastructure, teaching in schools because, on the mountain, things like that are needed. Help the Public Health Center (Puskesmas), “he said. The President hopes that these five political prisoners will be free to jointly build Papua together in different ways. “Maybe they can be gardeners or honorary employers,” President Jokowi said at a joint press conference with the five released political prisoners.

Related to that, Jokowi Underworld Volunteers (ABJ) fully supports President Jokowi’s policy. ABJ General Chairman Veldy Reynold said that the release of political prisoners showed the president was using eyes of his heart. “The release of Papuan political prisoners is one of many unpopular policies, but that was a truth-based policy”, Veldy said.

In addition, Veldy added, Jokowi tried a new approach in efforts to solve this Papua conflict. “This is a new approach by President Jokowi in efforts to resolve the Papua conflict,” he said.

On the occasion, President Jokowi was accompanied by Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Tedjo Edhi Purdijatno, Police Chief General (Pol) Badrodin Haiti, and Commander General of the Moeldoko.

Keywords: Papua, West Papua, Jokowi, OPM, political prisoners, clemency, conflict, peaceful Papua, development, welfare

Sakhiyatun K (MaCDIS Researcher)

 References:

Putu Merta Surya Putra, Bebaskan Tahanan Politik, Cara Baru Jokowi Selesaikan Konflik, http://news.liputan6.com/read/2262920/bebaskan-tahanan-politik-cara-baru-jokowi-selesaikan-konflik

 

Kunjungi Lapas Abepura, Presiden Jokowi Bebaskan 5 Tahanan Politik Papua, http://setkab.go.id/kunjungi-lapas-abepura-presiden-jokowi-bebaskan-5-tahanan-politik-papua/