Message to Obama before Indonesian trip

Supporters rally for Yusak and Filep in front of the White House. © AIUSA

Supporters rally for Yusak and Filep in front of the White House. © AIUSA

Just this week, our Individuals at Risk team received a special message from Yusak Pakage and Filep Karma – two prisoners of conscience in jail for peacefully raising a flag – from their prison cells in Indonesia. Here’s what they wrote:

Since our being sentenced to prison, Amnesty International has opposed our being imprisoned for legitimately exercising our right to freedom of expression. We wish to express our appreciation for Amnesty’s advocacy.  

We will continue fighting for Filep and Yusak until they are freed and their rights restored.

President Obama is taking a trip to Indonesia in less than a week, and we want him to carry a message of freedom and hope to Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage. That’s why this past weekend, scores of Amnesty activists and supporters braved torrential rain to rally in front of the White House with flags, banners, and posters asking President Obama not to forget human rights and these two Prisoners of Conscience when he meets with Indonesian President Yudhoyono. Speakers from East Timorese Action Network (ETAN) joined us in calling for their immediate and unconditional release. It was indeed a powerful show of solidarity and our determination to secure the release of both Filep and Yusak!

President Obama spent four years of his childhood in Indonesia and this trip marks a special opportunity to forge an understanding between the two countries based on human rights. But this can only happen if President Obama commits to speaking up for those who were punished for speaking out.

If you weren’t at the rally, it’s not too late to help Filep and Yusak. Call on President Obama to pressure the Indonesian government to release Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage. 

Or if you have the time, call the White House comment line: 1-202-456-1111 (TTY/TDD 202-456-6213). Or if you have trouble getting through, call the White House switchboard: 1-202-456-1414 and ask to be connected to the comment line.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

11 thoughts on “Message to Obama before Indonesian trip

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  2. Considering the appalling history of the oppressive Indonesian government, especially in the light of it's genocidal invasion of East Timor, it is quite unlikely that, regardless of who tells them what— whether it is Obama or anyone else, they will not respond to issues of human freedom in any way that would be compatible with human decency.

    Not only is the Indonesian government deaf to such considerations, but so is the United States. After all, it is the American war profiteers who sold the Indonesian army the weapons by which they murdered the Timorese people. America is only interested in profit. Nothing else. Human values, even the values guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America, have fallen by the wayside in America. Certainly as concerns the federal government. Obama tends to see his role, as do most of the federal government as supporters involved in helping, in any way he can, the wealthy corporate oligarchs, not merely to stay in power, but to increase their wealth and power. It is naive to think otherwise.

    It is painful for me to express these unlovely observations about my country, the place where such uncivil values are not what I was taught to expect when I was in school. But now that the veil is torn from my eyes, I see that the American presidency has become nothing more than a cynical instrument of profit for the few at the expense of the many.

  3. I'm sorry but until this country eliminates the death penalty and provides health care for all we have no right or privilege to tell other countries to protect human rights.

  4. Considering the appalling history of the oppressive Indonesian government, especially in the light of it’s genocidal invasion of East Timor, it is quite unlikely that, regardless of who tells them what— whether it is Obama or anyone else, they will not respond to issues of human freedom in any way that would be compatible with human decency.

    Not only is the Indonesian government deaf to such considerations, but so is the United States. After all, it is the American war profiteers who sold the Indonesian army the weapons by which they murdered the Timorese people. America is only interested in profit. Nothing else. Human values, even the values guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America, have fallen by the wayside in America. Certainly as concerns the federal government. Obama tends to see his role, as do most of the federal government as supporters involved in helping, in any way he can, the wealthy corporate oligarchs, not merely to stay in power, but to increase their wealth and power. It is naive to think otherwise.

    It is painful for me to express these unlovely observations about my country, the place where such uncivil values are not what I was taught to expect when I was in school. But now that the veil is torn from my eyes, I see that the American presidency has become nothing more than a cynical instrument of profit for the few at the expense of the many.

  5. I’m sorry but until this country eliminates the death penalty and provides health care for all we have no right or privilege to tell other countries to protect human rights.

  6. The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (www.etan.org) supports Amnesty's campaign to free Yusak and Filep. We are also urging President Obama not to offer training for the Indonesian miltiary's notorious Kopassus special forces. Please sign our petition – http://www.gopetition.com/online/29600.html

    Amnesty International USA recently called attempts to engage Kopassus "of special concern."

  7. The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (www.etan.org) supports Amnesty's campaign to free Yusak and Filep. We are also urging President Obama not to offer training for the Indonesian miltiary's notorious Kopassus special forces. Please sign our petition – http://www.gopetition.com/online/29600.html

    Amnesty International USA recently called attempts to engage Kopassus "of special concern."

  8. The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (www.etan.org) supports Amnesty's campaign to free Yusak and Filep. We are also urging President Obama not to offer training for the Indonesian miltiary's notorious Kopassus special forces. Please sign our petition – http://www.gopetition.com/online/29600.html

    Amnesty International USA recently called attempts to engage Kopassus "of special concern."

  9. The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (www.etan.org) supports Amnesty’s campaign to free Yusak and Filep. We are also urging President Obama not to offer training for the Indonesian miltiary’s notorious Kopassus special forces. Please sign our petition – http://www.gopetition.com/online/29600.html

    Amnesty International USA recently called attempts to engage Kopassus “of special concern.”

  10. Barack Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope," provides a appealing title. It has a taste of bravery mixed confidently. There's nothing Pollyanna regarding this. I would possibly not support every part he says, but he's our president, as well as for me, he creates trust. Which could do more for a nation than any volume of backroom deals. Hope gives us energy, and energy sustains us through trying times. Boy, we've had them. I'm from West Texas, and I did not vote for Bush. When McCain ran against Obama, I used to be a citizen of Arizona, but I gave audacious hope a chance. The fight for progress and laying the foundations of prosperity is not over. I have seen the quips of those that don't think Obama is able to do it. But step back a second. Would anyone have most of us fail just to tarnish the star of an incumbent for whom they did not vote? Attempting to keep our priorities straight, let's work together with our president and build our future.

  11. Barack Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” provides a appealing title. It has a taste of bravery mixed confidently. There’s nothing Pollyanna regarding this. I would possibly not support every part he says, but he’s our president, as well as for me, he creates trust. Which could do more for a nation than any volume of backroom deals. Hope gives us energy, and energy sustains us through trying times. Boy, we’ve had them. I’m from West Texas, and I did not vote for Bush. When McCain ran against Obama, I used to be a citizen of Arizona, but I gave audacious hope a chance. The fight for progress and laying the foundations of prosperity is not over. I have seen the quips of those that don’t think Obama is able to do it. But step back a second. Would anyone have most of us fail just to tarnish the star of an incumbent for whom they did not vote? Attempting to keep our priorities straight, let’s work together with our president and build our future.