Stories from Papua’s political prisoners show life at the edge of freedom


Ap Inyerop in Inside Indonesia 113: Jul-Sep 2013

Otto is sitting in his cell in Abepura prison. It is early evening, and he is drinking coffee and discussing politics with his cellmates. None of them have much energy as the prison diet of low-grade rice and stewed leaves is poor. Otto is reading a book about social change, which has been smuggled in by friends. Books are treated with great suspicion by prison authorities and are hard to come by inside, so this one is cherished. He is beginning it for the third time, hoping to find some hint of a way out, not just of the ‘little prison’ in which he finds himself, but also of the ‘big prison’, which is how many Papuans now view their homeland. Otto and his friends are not robbers or murderers; they are political leaders who have peacefully challenged the Indonesian government.


Big prison, little prison (pdf)