Saturday, March 13 noon- 2 p.m. Lafayette Square!
The rally will feature music, lively chants, and speakers from Amnesty International as well as the East Timor Indonesia Action Network (ETAN).
Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were jailed in December 2004 for taking part in a nonviolent protest for Papuan independence from Indonesia. During the ceremony a Morning Star flag, the symbol of Papuan independence, was raised. Indonesian police arrested Filep Karma and reportedly beat him during his transportation to the police station. When a group of 20 people arrived at the police station in protest, they were arrested as well. All of them were subsequently released, except for Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage. Mr. Karma and Mr. Pakage were tried on charges of treason for their roles in the protest and sentenced to 15 years and 10 years respectively.
Supporters of independence for Papua Province have been among those jailed as prisoners of conscience in Indonesia. While Amnesty International takes no position on the political status of any province of Indonesia, we believe that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate independence. Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of these prisoners of conscience.
Barack Obama and his family plan on visiting the President's childhood home of Indonesia late next month to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Indonesia. This is the perfect time to encourage President Obama to pressure Indonesia on its human rights violations and freedom of speech issues, especially regarding the cases of Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage.
Support Filep and Yusak and demand the release of these unjustly imprisoned men by rallying with us!
For more information, visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/action/special/karmapakage.html
Info about the rally: http://bit.ly/aJlwDp
Photo of Filep Karma from Amnesty International