24 May 2013

Indonesia to release Papuan political prisoners

1:48 pm on 24 May 2013

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reportedly promised to free all West Papuan political prisoners.

A deputy speaker of the Papua Provincial Legislature, Yunus Wonda, says the prisoners will be offered clemency as part of the government's planned so-called special autonomy plus programme for Papua and West Papua provinces.

The Jakarta Globe reports Mr Wonda as saying the President had made the promise in a recent meeting with Papuan leaders including Papua Governor Lukas Enembe.

There are estimated to be up to 50 Papuan political prisoners incarcerated for offences such as taking part in rallies and raising the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag.

The Papuan legislator said the president would declare the promised clemency in August to coincide with his visit to Papua to inaugurate the special autonomy plus programme.