Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan independence activist Filep Karma who recently rejected a pardon offered by Indonesian President Joko Widodo firmly said the genture wasn’t new for him.
“They (the Government of Indonesia) also knew that I have rejected a pardon once,” Karma, the chairman of West Papua Political Prisoners’ Forum, told Jubi on Saturday (23/5/2015).
Before Jokowi granted a pardon in early May, Papuan political prisoners have rejected the offer from former Indonesian President Soesilo Bambang Yoedhoyono (SBY) in 2013 through an official letter sent on 27 May 2013. In the letter, they stated they do not need being released but wanted Papua to be liberated of from the Republic of Indonesia. All political prisoners signed the letter including Filep Karma.
According to Karma, it’s more important to demand Jokowi release 90 political prisoners in Papua and Maluku through amnesty and abolition program. “I also want to see his decision to open access for international media in Papua is proven,” Karma said.
He also thought the pardon that recently granted to five Papuan political prisoners is not synergetic with the attitude and the act of the security forces in Papua who actually the president’s subordinate. The security forces are still arresting and detaining the Papuan activists who involved in peace demonstration and even criminalized them. “Criminalization against the West Papua National Committee is also occurred until now,” said Karma who’s prisoned for eleven years.
The church figure in Papua, Benny Giay earlier said that Karma was offered a position as a member of the president’s expert staff if he requested a pardon to the President Jokowi. According to him, this offer was directly delivered by Judith Dipodiputro, a member of Jokowi’s Papua Working Group when visited Karma at Abepura Prison.
“I came to Abepura Prison to visit Filep Karma. At the same time, Judith Dipodiputro talked to him. She asked him to write a letter to the President Jokowi,” Giay said on Friday (22/5/2015).
Karma told Jubi on Thursday (7/5/2015) he would never write a letter to the Indonesian president for his release or saying gratitude for Jokowi’s decision to release the Papuan political prisoners. “If he wanted to grant an amnesty, thank you then. But we never ask or beg for it. Moreover to write a letter of request for exemption and grateful,” he said.
He also admitted he met the president’s ambassador to talk about his released and he was asked to write a letter. “I was asked to write a letter. I don’t what is for about. But I will never write a letter to ask or beg for my release,” stressed Karma. (Victor Mambor/rom)