Indonesia frees communists


Jakarta - Three elderly members of the Indonesian Communist Party, who had each served more than 30 years in prison, were yesterday among 25 political prisoners freed to mark the country's Independence Day anniversary celebrations. The prisoners released included, for the first time, three infirm members of the Indonesian Communist Party blamed for an abortive coup in 1965. However, President B.J. Habibie refused to free the country's two most prominent detainees, the East Timorese separatist leader, Jose Xanana Gusmao, and Budiman Sudjatmiko, the leader of the People's Democratic Party (PRD), who was imprisoned for undermining the state ideology.