Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
War of words over 'political prisoners'
Activists say there are dozens: government says they committed treason
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- August 9, 2012
Marthen Goo, head of National Papuan Solidarity, has called on the government to free them.Â â€śOur country is a democratic state, so why are there still political prisoners?â€ť he asked yesterday during a discussion session in Jakarta.
His group says it knows of 40 people who are in jail for their political opinions. But the government maintains that any so-called political prisoners in the country are guilty of treason.
Dahana Putra of the Law and Human Rights Ministry said: â€śthey were sent to jail based on Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code on treason."
According to Papang Hidayat of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, the government discriminates against Papuans due to fears of sedition.
"Other groups do not face similar legal consequences when they engage in similar political expression," he said. For Papuans, political expression is seen to have a "separatist motive.â€ť
Hidayat also pointed out that criticizing the government is not illegal.
According to National Papuan Solidarity, political prisoners also suffer mistreatment.
â€śAccording to our survey, they got improper medical treatment when they were sick. Five prisoners with critical health conditions had to be taken to hospitals by their families,â€ť Goo said.
An alleged political prisoner named Kimanus Wenda had surgery on a stomach tumor in March. Before the surgery, activists met with Deputy Law and Human Rights Minister Denny Indrayana, who promised to cover the expenses. The promise was not kept, Goo said.
Wenda was accused of attacking a military warehouse in Wamena in 2003. He denies the charges, but was forced to sign a confession he could not read, according to Amnesty International. In January 2004 he was sentenced to 20 yearsâ€™ imprisonment for â€śrebellionâ€ť under Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code.
Prisoners 'have rights too', says lawyer