Target: Amir Syamsuddin, Minister of Law and Human Rights
Goal: Secure the immediate and unconditional release of peaceful protester Johan Teterissa
Johan Teterissa was arrested in June of 2007 along with 21 other activists, for taking part in a peaceful demonstration against the President of Indonesia. At some point during the assembly, the ‘Benang Raja,’ a regional flag that has been banned by the Indonesian government, was raised. This caused the police to violently disperse the crowd. After their arrest, they were taken to a detention center and tortured. The peaceful protesters were beaten, made to crawl across hot asphalt on their stomachs, whipped with electrical cables and had billiard balls forcibly inserted into their mouths. Mr. Teterissa is a prisoner of conscious and should be immediately and unconditionally released.
Almost a year after being imprisoned, Mr. Teterissa was convicted of rebellion and sentenced to a life term in prison. After appeal, that sentence was reduced to 15 years. International human rights groups have claimed that Mr. Teterissa was given an unfair trial. This fact on top of that he was imprisoned for practicing his freedom of expression and assembly.
Mr. Teterissa has suffered extensively during his time in prison and has been subjected to mistreatment and torture. While the condition of the facilities he is being held in has improved in the last year, the ill treatment has not. The Indonesian government should be held accountable for their treatment of prisoners of conscience such as Mr. Teterissa. Sign this petition to demand Johan Teterissa’s immediate and unconditional release.
Dear Minister Syamsuddin,
I am writing to ask that you immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Johan Teterissa from prison. His detention is a violation of international human rights and a violation of his right to freedom of expression and assembly. An investigation should also be opened into the abuse and torture that Mr. Teterissa has been subjected to during his nearly seven years in prison.
The international community will be interested to see how you act in this case. By releasing Mr. Teterissa, your government can show that you have an interest in protecting the human rights of all your citizens, regardless of political views. I ask that you work to improve the rights of your citizens and release those who are being held in prison for political reasons.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Indonesian Government via Wikipedia Commons