9 Jul 2010

Jakarta releases two Papua political prisoners

2:00 pm on 9 July 2010

Indonesian authorities have released two political prisoners jailed for pushing for independence of Papua.

The AFP news agency says Yusak Pakage and Chosmos Yual were freed on Wednesday from Doyo Baru prison in Jayapura.

Pakage had been sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2005 for treason.

Yual was sentenced to six years in jail for his role in a violent pro-independence rally in Jayapura in 2006.

The international group, Human Rights Watch, has welcomed their release.

But the group adds that more than 45 prisoners remain behind bars for what they say was the peaceful expression of their political beliefs.

Indonesia is highly sensitive to the separatist struggles in Papua, a former Dutch colony taken over in 1963.