Jakarta – Two People's Democratic Party (PRD) political prisoners who receive an amnesty from President B.J. Habibie, Wilson bin Nurtiyas and Ken Budha Kusumandaru, were forcibly evicted from the Cipinang Prison, Jakarta. To remove the two, who refused to be released, the Cipinang Prison authorities had to saw through a padlock which Wilson and Ken Budha had used to lock themselves into a cell.
This was related by Ken Budha and Wilson on Monday, July 27, in a press statement at the Jakarta Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI). The forced release was carried out after efforts at a compromise failed to satisfy Wilson and Budha. The Cipinang authorities sawed thorough the padlock owned by the PRD activists at around 2am. Accompanied by the song "Darang Juang", which was sung by all of the PRD political prisoners, Wilson and Ken Budha were evicted from the prison at around 3am this morning.
Ken Budha and Wilson explained that they had rejected the amnesty given to them by the government and demanded that Justice Minister Muladi come to the Cipinang prison to explain the criteria used to determine which political prisoners were to be released. However their request was not fulfilled.
They added that efforts to negotiate for the release the two was also made my the Director General of Prisons, Thahir Abdullah on Sunday, at around 10pm, who met with the chairperson of the PRD, Budiman Sudjatmiko. No agreement was reached however.
[Translated by James Balowski]