Tortured and jailed for peaceful protest and the raising of a flag
Johan Teterissa is a primary school teacher serving a 15-year sentence for leading a peaceful protest in 2007 in Indonesia. He was arrested along with 21 other activists during a government organised event in Ambon, the capital of Maluku province. At the event, attended by the Indonesian President, protestors performed a traditional war dance and unfurled a flag, the Benang Raja flag, perceived by the authorities to be a symbol of the Republic of South Maluku independence movement.
During his arrest and the early weeks of detention, Johan was tortured by the police. Despite being seriously injured, no medical treatment was provided at the time and he continues to suffer from injuries sustained during his detention.
Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience, arrested, prosecuted and ill-treated simply for expressing his beliefs in a peaceful way. Johan is well aware that we and others have been supporting his case. Indeed, in December 2011, he sent his regards to supporters around the world and thanked Amnesty activists for all the letters and cards that he received from them. He urged us to keep applying pressure on the authorities so that prisoners like him are released unconditionally.
As Indonesia enters a big election year in 2014 and, notably, as outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono looks to cementing his legacy, we’d like to think that an enhanced human rights record would be part of that process.
Please join us and write to the President and his Minister of Law and Human Rights and ask for Johan’s unconditional release and that of all other prisoners of conscience in Indonesia.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Salutation: Your Excellency)
Please also write to:
Presidential Advisor (Law and Human Rights)
Albert Hasibuan (Salutation Dear Albert Hasibuan)
Presidential Advisory Council Secretariat
Jakarta Pusat 10110
Paul Hainsworth is the Country Coordinator for Indonesia.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.