A petition bearing more than a million signatures calling for the immediate release of all people jailed solely for their beliefs was submitted to the United Nations yesterday by Amnesty International, the London-based human rights group.
The document, submitted to Secretary General Kurt Waldheim and General Assembly president Lazar Mojsov of Yugoslavia, expresses "outrage that in many parts of the world men and women who have neither used nor advocated violence suffer imprisonment solely because of their political or religious beliefs, their race, color and language."
Amnesty International, which won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, said its petition marked the culmination of its prisoners of Conscience Year. It was signed by 1,121,609 individuals and by international organizations representing more than 84 million people in 133 countries.
Indonesia, which has been criticized by Amnesty for its record on political prisoners, announced in Jakarta that 10,000 prisoners would be given their freedom next week.
They are among more than 31,000 prisoners held in connection with the unsuccessful Communist coup attempt in 1965. Authorities say the remaining prisoners will be released or put on trial over the next few months.
Most of those to be released Dec. 15 will be resettled as farmers on outlying islands, according to Admiral Sudomo, chief of the security and order command.
Indonesia's resettlement policy has been criticized by human rights groups as merely changing one form of detention for another.
In another development at the United Nations, a 49-member African group asked five Nordic countries to withdraw their resolution to censure Ugandan President Idi Amin for wholesale violation of human rights.
Mauritanian Ambassador M. Moulaye Hassen said the African states felt that Uganda should not be singled out for censure when "many other countries also violate human rights." He added, "If we take action against Uganda, it should be within the context of the Organization of African Unity."
Diplomatic sources said the Africans' request was opposed by such influential states as Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.