Jayapura, Jubi – “I, Filep Karma, refuse an offer of a remission of my detention on the anniversary of Independence Day of 17 August. I consider only 1 December as my independence day, that is the independence day of West Papua,” Papua political prisoner Filep Karma told Jubi on Friday (14/8/2015).
Karma have been serving his 15-year jail term since 2000 for raising the morning flag star at Cenderawasih University.
He said he would only accept an offer of unconditional release.
“If I was granted unconditional release, I would be glad to walk free out of Abepura Prison on next 18 August,” Karma said. He believes he did nothing wrong or committed a crime when raising the morning star flag.
So, he keep insisting to continue the campaign on the independence of West Papua, though he was release someday.
Jubi notice that Filep Karma always refused an offer of remission from the Indonesian Government. In 2008, he turned down an offer of remission though the former Division Head of Law and Human Right Department of Papua Province Demianus Rumbiak recommended two political prisoners Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage who attracted attention from the US Congress at that time to be released. He also rejected remission offered by government in the following years. He keep insist to refuse the offer though the government said it’s an obligation of State. According to him, remission is given for a guilty person as a mercy for good behaved during the time in prison. “Well, I never felt being guilty for what I’ve been done, but I got a sentence,” last year he said after rejecting the government’s offer.
And the last, he refused exemption offered by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in last May. At that time, the President Widodo offered him a pardon along with some political prisoners, but at the end only five political prisoners took the offer.
On the other hand, the Division Head of Law and Human Rights Ministry of Papua Province, Abner Banosro, said his office has program of remission towards all prisoners in the entire Papua prisons that given at the time of 70th anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day and a Decade Remission that given every 10 years.
“So, total of both prisoners and children prisoners who’ve been released after getting remission in the 70th anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day and Decade remission are 45 people, including Filep Karma,” he said.
In response this, Filep Karma stated he is political man, so he refused being adjusted as criminal through the granting of remission, pardon or amnesty. “An offer of remission, conditional release, pardon or amnesty indicates none of good intention by the Government of Indonesia in resolving the political issue in Papua, but only to avoid the international political pressure against the Papuan issue and to create a good image of the Indonesian Government in the international community,” said Filep Karma.
According to him, the Indonesian Government should be aware of being made a mistake over his detention. If he was granted an unconditional release, the government also must rehabilitate his name. “It’s also applied to other political prisoners of Free Papua Movement and the Republic of South Maluku who currently are still in Indonesian prisons and custodies as well as those who are listed in the Wanted List,” he said. (Victor Mambor/rom)