etmnlong.gif (2291 bytes) spacer

Capitol building, Washington, DC26 Members of the House of Representatives Write Indonesia President to Call for Release of Papuan Prisoner Filep Karma

Note: The letter is an initiative of Freedom Now, who represent Karma pro-bono.Background on Filep Karma and his case can be found here from Freedom Now and here from Amnesty International. Background on Indonesia's political prisoners, Prosecuting Political Aspiration Indonesia’s Political Prisoners, can be found here.

 

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515

August 19, 2011

Dr. H Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta 10110
Indonesia

Your Excellency:

As Members of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, we write asking your government to release Filep Samuel Karma, a Papuan political activist and former civil servant, who has been unlawfully and arbitrarily detained since 2004.

  Mr. Karma's trial violated international standards of due process of law.... And during his incarceration, he has suffered degrading and inhumane treatment, including the denial of necessary medical treatment. Recently, Mr. Karma has been placed in an isolation cell that is causing respiratory problems and has been denied adequate food and water.

Mr. Karma is a prominent non-violent Papuan political activist. He is currently serving a 15- year prison sentence following his raising of the Papuan Morning Star flag at a 2004 political rally celebrating the 1961 Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch rule. U.S. policy towards Indonesia supports the advancement of universal human rights and the fair and nondiscriminatory treatment of all people, which includes the peoples of Papua and West Papua. As a strategic partner, we remain concerned that your government meet its fundamental obligations to  protect the rights of its people, as respect for human rights strengthens democracy.

Mr. Karma's trial violated international standards of due process of law. For example, the judge made several plain statements indicating a bias against Mr. Karma. Additionally, Mr. Karma's appeal was rejected on unfounded procedural grounds. And during his incarceration, he has suffered degrading and inhumane treatment, including the denial of necessary medical treatment. Recently, Mr. Karma has been placed in an isolation cell that is causing respiratory problems and has been denied adequate food and water. Additionally, Indonesian authorities have repeatedly threatened to move Mr. Karma to Nusa Kambangan Prison, which reputedly has the worst prison conditions in Papua.

Mr. Karma's case represents an unfortunate echo of Indonesia's pre-democratic era, when Indonesia regularly  imprisoned political activists on unlawful grounds. Indeed, Mr. Karma's case was cited in the United States State Department 2009 Human Rights Report as an example of Indonesia's detention of political prisoners. Accordingly, Mr. Karma's release would be a welcome indication of the Government of Indonesia's otherwise robust commitment to  democracy and human rights.

We urge your government uphold its commitments to international law and to its own domestic law and immediately and  unconditionally release Mr. Karma.

        Sincerely,      

Joseph R. Pitts 
James P. Moran

Frank R. Wolf
James McGovern
Jim McDermott
Christopher Smith
Heath Shuler
Steve Cohen
Chellie Pingree
Henry A. Waxman
Tammy Baldwin
Edolphus Towns
Carolyn B. Maloney
Lloyd Doggett
Michael M. Honda
Bob Filner
Janice D. Schakowsky
Thaddeus McCotter
Barney Frank
Steven R. Rothman
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
Sam Farr
Dana Rohrabacher
Edward J. Markey
Maurice D. Hinchey
Eni F.H. Faleomavaega


see also

Freedom Now Welcomes Call of 26 Members of U.S. House  for Release of Renowned Human Rights Advocate Filep Karma (PDF)

Facebook

ETAN Cause on Facebook
---
ETAN Group on Facebook

Twitter
ETAN Blog ETAN's Blog

ETAN listservs

Subscribe to ETAN's e-mail Listservs


Google
WWW http://www.etan.org

 
     
bar
  spacer

 

make a pledge via credit card here

Bookmark and Share

Background | Take Action | News | Links | What You Can Do | Resources  | Contact

ETAN Store | Estafeta | ImagesHome | Timor Postings | Search | Site Index |