Papuan activists, and former prisoners of conscience Ferry Kombo, Alexander Gobai, Agus Kossay, Stevanus Itlay, Hengki Hilapok, Buchtar Tabuni and Irwanus Uropmabin have all been released from prison and have all been able to return to their homes in Papua.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions within Indonesia, air travel is currently very complicated. As a result, Amnesty International provided logistical support to aid their safe return home and ensure that their lawyers and families were able to accompany them on their flights.
Mr. Gustaf Kawer, one of the lawyers involved in the case, expressed his appreciation for the help from Amnesty International and thanked all members who took action and supported the seven former prisoners of conscience.
Ferry Kombo, Alexander Gobai, Agus Kossay, Stevanus Itlay, Hengki Hilapok, Buchtar Tabuni and Irwanus Uropmabin were convicted of treason (makar) and sentenced in June 2020 to between ten and 11 months in prison for their role in an anti-racism demonstration in August 2019. They were a part of a group of 56 political activists and human rights defenders from Papua who were imprisoned in relation to the 2019 anti-racism protest in Surabaya. Out of the total 56 prisoners of conscience, 34 remain imprisoned.
The Indonesian authorities have used these criminal code provisions to prosecute dozens of peaceful pro-independence political activists in Papua and Maluku over the last decade.
Amnesty International continues to monitor the situation in Papua, but for now no further action is requested from the UA network.