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URGENT APPEAL PROGRAMME – ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
AHRC UA Index: 000112 January 2000
UA 02/00: Political Prisoners 12
UPDATE(INDONESIA): Indonesia frees political prisoners
President Abdurrahman Wahid who was elected indonesia’s fourth head of state in October 1999 had released all known political prisoners by end of December 1999. The Indonesian government led by President Abdurrahman Wahid has stated that it will not imprison citizens who dissent with the government’s opinion unless they commit criminal acts.
10 December 1999 the Indonesian government released 91 political prisoners, the majority of whom were East Timorese, in the first freeing of political prisoners. Moreover, some 3,800, or 10 percent of the 38,000 prisoners in Indonesia will be freed by having their sentences in early this year.
23 December 1999, last batch of 105 political prisoners were released, including those political activist from Papua, East Timor and Aceh.
There are offically no more political prisoners and detainees.
Although, it is still possible that someone might still be held in military detention centres.
Political activist and Trade Unionist were arrested. Some were under Presidential Decree during the Suharto regime.
>From Janaury to May 1998 then Indonesian Security forces under suharto had arrested more then 330 activists Then President Suharto was been given more powers to handle the social unrest and subversive acts as a consequence of
the economic crisis.
Since March 98 , the AHRC UA issued several appeals and updates on cases of political prisoners and the “disappearances” in Indonesia.