An Indonesian prisoner-of-conscience has been nominated as a Tour de France ‘rider’ by Silsden human rights campaigners battling for his release.
Filep Karma has been declared the leading rider in Team Amnesty, a cycle display that will form part of Le Bike Festival being staged at Silsden Methodist Church in July and August.
Mr Karma, a former civil servant born in Papua, was jailed for 15 years in 2005 after he attended a ceremony in which the Papuan flag – banned in Indonesia – was raised.
His case was adopted last year by Silsden Amnesty Group, which regularly sends letters appealing for his freedom, holds community events to publicise his case and mails morale-boosting cards directly to him.
“We are a team right behind Filep and supporting him all the way,” said group spokesman, June Brennan. “Involving him in the Tour in this way seems like a really effective statement of our work.”