Ririe Ranggasari, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia held an online oration with the theme #PapuanLivesMatter on Wednesday, June 17. The event was held to demand justice for seven Papuans, who are in detainment and facing heavy charges for accusations of treason. The orators urged President Joko Widodo or Jokowi to free the political prisoners without conditions.
"We urge the authorities to release Papuan 'prisoners of conscience' immediately and without conditions," Amnesty International Indonesia's executive director Usman Hamid said in a statement Wednesday, June 17.
The seven political prisoners are Fery Kombo, a Papuan student facing possible 10 years imprisonment for organizing protests against racism towards Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, last year. He is facing treason charges along with three other students, Alexander Gobay, Irwanus Uropmabin and Hengky Hilapok; as well as three Papuan activists, Buchtar Tabuni, Agus Kosay and Stevanus Itlay.
The prosecutors recently demanded that they be sentenced to 5-17 years in prison, during hearings at the Balikpapan District Court.
The case gains traction and attracts public attention amid a rising global sentiment against racism.
"Fery and other Papuan political prisoners, who peacefully expressed their opposition to racism, should not be criminalized," Usman Hamid said.