The Jakarta Post
Papua freedom fighter Filep Jacob Semuel Karma, 56, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for treason after leading a Morning Star flag-raising ceremony, was released on Thursday after receiving a final remission, making his combined remissions 50 months.
Filep Karma was arrested on Dec.1, 2004, when together with pro-independence activist Yusak Pakage, he led the ceremony at Trikora Field, Abepura, Jayapura, Papua. Both activists were imprisoned for treason.
The Jayapura District Court sentenced Filep Karma to 15 years in prison while Yusak was sentenced to 10 years.
Filep's release was officiated through the signing of a document of release by Abepura Penitentiary warden Bagus Kurniawan, Filep's son-in-law Abraham Bonay and lawyer Olga Hamadi.
Earlier, Abepura Penitentiary staffer took Filep's picture for his release but Filep refused to put his fingerprints on the picture and prison registration book.
'It was his right to either agree or refuse to put his fingerprints and the court upholds this right,' Olga added.
The lawyer said Filep had a right as an inmate to remissions. 'Remissions are given to an inmate if he or she does a good deed and has served his or her prison time for at least six months. Pak Filep has served 11 years of his sentence,' said Olga.
Olga said that as Filep's lawyer, he received notification of his client's release on Wednesday, or one day before the release.
'I was notified just yesterday. Pak Filep was allowed to leave the prison yesterday actually, but he asked for time so that he could leave the prison today,' said Olga.
Filep refused to make a statement on his plans for the future. 'For a press statement, I will give you an official statement next week,' said the activist, whose release was warmly welcomed by dozens of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) activists who were waiting for him outside the prison. (ebf)
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