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Indonesia: Crackdown on freedom of expression in Maluku / Moluccas

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Moluccas ICHR, May 5, 2009.

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    Moluccas ICHR New Member

    May 5, 2009
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    Indonesia: Crackdown on freedom of expression in Maluku / Moluccas

    Indonesia has arrested at least 152 people for waving the flags of regional independence movements, Amnesty International says.

    In a new report, Amnesty says the arrests have been made over the past two years as part of a crackdown in regions with a history of separatist movements.

    At least 93 people are currently in detention in Papua and Maluku for charges associated with flag-raising activities, the report says.

    Some of those detained have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment during detention and interrogation, and some were sentenced to imprisonment after unfair trials, the rights group said.

    Amnesty's Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, Donna Guest, said Indonesia had made important advances in respecting free expression.

    "But these cases show that when the sensitive issues of regional independence are at stake, the Indonesian government has made no distinction whatsoever between armed separatist groups and peaceful political activists," she said.

    "This blurring of the lines has allowed them to detain scores of people simply for the peaceful act of raising a flag."

    The government should conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the reports of torture and other ill-treatment, Guest said.

    "Those found responsible should be held to account as a matter of priority and victims should be granted reparations."

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