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Open Letter To President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Australia West Papua Association, Sydney

Open Letter To President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

President of Indonesia

c/o The Ambassador

Embassy of Indonesia

8 Darwin Avenue,


ACT 2600




22 August 2009

Re: Concern for the health of Filep Karma
Dear President Yudhoyono,

I am writing to you concerning the case of Filep Karma, a West Papuan man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for  simply being part of a  rally where the West Papuan national flag, the Morning Star was raised and for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Filep Karma who is serving his sentence in the Abepura Prison is now in the intensive care ward at the Dok Dua Hospital in Jayapura. We are very concerned about the health of Filep Karma who has been ill since the  6 August and although he reported this fact to prison medical authorities he received no attention from the prison director or the medical personnel.

It was only after he spoke to a journalist from the Bintang Papua on the 17 August about his  condition that he was transferred from the prison to the Dok Dua hospital (after more than a week of suffering ) where he is attached to a drip and unable to eat or go to the toilet. He is unable to move at all and lies on his bed all the time. He is under heavy guard.

I urge you to  request the local authorities to ensure that he receives all necessary medical treatment  immediately and is not subjected to further ill-treatment by design or neglect.

I also ask you to use your good offices to release Filep Karma and all other prisoners of conscience in West Papua as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people.

AWPA is also concerned about the statement from the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday that that the International Committee of the Red Cross would not be allowed to re open an office in West Papua. The previous Red Cross office was forced to shut and leave West Papua earlier this year after its  staff members visited prisoners in jail.

The ICRC is mandated by the international community to visit prisoners to verify whether they are being treated according to relevant international standards. ICRC detention visits also aim to ensure respect for the life and dignity of prisoners and to prevent torture, ill-treatment or abuse, which violate essential rights and the basic principles of humanity. Regular visits by the ICRC enable the ICRC to track prisoners' whereabouts and make recommendations to the authorities about any improvements to conditions that may be necessary.

We urge you to allow the ICRC to open an office in West Papua so they can continue their valuable humanitarian work ensuring prisoners are treated with dignity and live free from the fear of torture.

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins

AWPA (Sydney)


CC. The Hon Kevin Rudd MP. Prime Minister

The Hon Stephen Smith MP. Minister for Foreign Affairs

Various human rights organisations





We urge people to write along similar lines

Contact details
Indonesian Embassy

8 Darwin Avenue,


ACT 2600


The Hon Kevin Rudd MP

Prime Minister

Parliament House


ACT 2600



The Hon Stephen Smith MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Parliament House


ACT 2600










© Scoop Media

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