Indonesian political activist faces death threats

An Indonesian political activist has received a number of anonymous SMS messages warning him that he will be killed if he leaves his home, Amnesty International has learned. Yoab Syatfle, a political activist in the Indonesian province of West Papua, received six SMS messages on Monday. The messages warned: “You are one of the people we are looking for, we remember you, if you leave your house yard one more time, you will be killed”. It is believed that Syatfle received the message because he is involved in organizing a demonstration that is to take place on Thursday in the city of Sorong, West Papua Province. The protest, organized by a coalition of groups in Papua, is against dialogue with the Indonesian government as a way of solving political problems in the region. Amnesty International said that it believes that Yoab Syatfle has been targeted because he is a prominent peaceful political activist in Papua. He is the Sorong Secretary of the Papua Traditional Council (Dewan Adat Papua) which represents Indigenous communities in Papua. He is also Secretary of the Papua National Consensus Team, a non-violent group campaigning for a peaceful internationally mediated solution to the political problems in Papua. Amnesty International has urged the Indonesia government to remember that the right to free expression, opinion and assembly is guaranteed under the Indonesian Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the country is a state party. The organization called on the government of Indonesia to protect peaceful activists from harassment and to allow human rights organisations in Papua to work without interference. Many peaceful pro-independence political activists in Indonesia have been arrested and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.