Pardon Granted to Eliminate Conflict Stigma in Papua

JAYAPURA CITY - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) pardoned five political prisoners during his visit to Abepura Penitentiary in Jayapura, Papua, on Saturday afternoon.

"We wish to create a peaceful Papua," he said while presenting the pardon to the five prisoners.

Among the five prisoners who received the presidential pardon are Linus Hiluka and Apotnaholik Lokobal, who were both sentenced to 20 years in jail, and Numbungga Telenggen and Yafrai Murib, who were both sentenced to life imprisonment.

President Jokowi stated that granting pardon was the first step towards releasing political prisoners in Indonesia.

"It will later be followed by an amnesty and other steps, involving as many as 90 prisoners," he affirmed.

Yafrai Murib had earlier said he was grateful that he would be receiving a pardon directly from the president.

"I am grateful for the pardon," Murib, who served three years in Abepura, told Antara at the prison in the company of his lawyer Latifah Anum Siregar.

In addition, the lawyer expressed his appreciation of the pardon. "We thank the president and appreciate his decision, which was made to develop better democracy in Indonesia.

Moreover, Linus Hiluka told newsmen after receiving the pardon that he had requested President Joko Widodo for a safety guarantee for all Papuans.

"I just asked President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) to ensure the safety of Papuan people, especially of former political prisoners like us," he remarked. [Antara]
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