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AN: Government to release 16 more political prisoners

Date: Tue, 09 Jun 1998 22:20:05 +0700
From: "Leonardo J. Rimba" <>

Antara -- Tuesday, June 9, 1998


JAKARTA - The government will release 16 more political prisoners on Thursday to bring the number of political prisoners freed since BJ Habibie assumed the presidency to 16, Justice Minister Muladi announced here Monday. Speaking to the press after meeting the president at the latter's Bina Graha office here, Muladi said the political prisoners had been jailed for various reasons.

Among them some had defamed the then president Soeharto in a protest held in Central Java and others were people who had demanded that the government treat East Timor province in a fairer way.

Muladi said constructive criticism of the president was part of democracy and so were people's opinions in the East Timor question.

"Those jailed people merely expressed different points of view," he added.

He however refused to name the political prisoners to be freed, saying that if he did President Habibie might have second thoughts and not sign the release orders.

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