APSN Banner

Freed political prisoners not immune to law

Kompas - June 24, 1998 (abridged)

Jakarta – Minister of Justice Muladi reminds that the political detainees and prisoners who have been released should refrain from political actions which can disturb public security and order. In a state based on law, freed political detainees/prisoners are not immune to law and can be caught again if they violate the law.

Muladi considers that in the context of the reformation, all must respect the rights of everybody and groups in Indonesia. "I remind all former political detainees and prisoners that they too must respect human rights and have a sense of national responsibility. They are not immune to law, and may be caught again. Nobody in Indonesia is immune against the law," stressed the minister.

"Those already released should refrain from acts causing victims, thus rendering the government hesitant about releasing more detainees and prisoners. I myself have no regrets about freeing people. I am glad to do so. But those already released must have social responsibility for the sake of the public interest," said Muladi.

According to the Minister of Justice, his side is cooperating with the Attorney General, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister, the Armed Forces Commander and the Minister of Home Affairs in evaluating amnesty and release of about 149 political prisoners and 56 political detainees. This concerns those not intending to change the state ideoogy, not involved in criminal matters, and not involved in the communist party coup attempt.

Asled about a possible release of Jose Alexander Xanana Gusmao, the Muladi saw this in the context of a tripartite negotiation between Indonesia and Portugal under the auspices of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.