Lynn Fredriksson: 202-546-0044 Email: email@example.com
Contact: Michael Beer: 202-244-0951
"When Secretary Powell meets with Foreign Minister Shihab, we hope he will emphasize that Indonesian security forces and their allies are still perpetuating extreme human rights abuses in West Papua, Aceh, Maluku, and elsewhere," said Craig Harris, co-chair of IHRN's executive board.
One example, said Harris, is the September 2000 killing of three UN aid workers by military-backed militias in the Indonesian territory of West Timor. In December, three human rights workers from the RATA, Rehabilitation Action for Torture Victims in Aceh, were pulled from their vehicle while working and shot in the street in the province of Aceh. The only known survivor of that incident attended a conference to launch IHRN, held February 23-25 in Washington, DC. "There's no doubt in my mind that the men who took us hostage and killed my colleagues were military," said Nazaruddin Abdul Gani.
"Before there can be any resumption of military ties between Washington and Jakarta, the Indonesian armed forces must undergo significant reform. The U.S. government should accept nothing short of civilian control of the military as well as human rights trials conducted under international standards of justice as preconditions for any re-engagement with the Indonesian military," added IHRN co-chair Agatha Schmaedick.
The Indonesia Human Rights Network is a grassroots movement actively campaigning, through public education and national advocacy in support of the archipelago's pro-democracy movement and against U.S. complicity with Indonesian military repression. The network is comprised of human rights advocates, educators, and concerned citizens from across the U.S. and around the world.
Octovianus Mote, a West Papuan journalist who spoke at the IHRN conference, stated, "The Indonesian military and government must respect international law in its actions. In addition, the U.S. government should work to guarantee the safety of, and assistance to, the nearly one million refugees and displaced persons who have fled violence across the archipelago.
The conference featured experts on Indonesia from the U.S., Europe, Indonesia, East Timor, Australia, and elsewhere. Jafar Siddiq Hamzah's sister dedicated the conference to her brother's memory. Jafar was a human rights lawyer and permanent U.S. resident, kidnapped and murdered in Indonesia in August 2000. He was working to end human rights abuses in his native Aceh and throughout Indonesia.
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The Indonesia Human Rights Network
Jan 27 ETAN/IHRN: Rights groups
urge continued suspension of military ties with Indonesia
"Shipping hardware to the Indonesian military will severely set back efforts to achieve democracy and respect for human rights in Indonesia ... Anyone familiar with the ongoing conflicts in West Papua, Aceh and Maluku/the Moluccas knows that the TNI is at best impeding resolution; more often it is an exceedingly brutal central cause of the problem." Lynn Fredriksson, acting coordinator for Indonesia Human Rights Network.
Jan 24 Reut: Top E.Timorese wants
U.S. to help Indonesian army
"One of East Timor's most prominent leaders, who denounced abuses by Indonesian troops in his homeland for decades, made a turnabout on Wednesday and urged the United States to resume military aid to Jakarta. It was a bizarre change of tack for Nobel peace prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta who was at the vanguard of the fight against the often brutal 23-year rule of East Timor by Indonesia." Joanne Collins
Jan 11 FPIF: U.S. - East Timor
Foreign Policy in Focus Brief
"The U.S. has declined to provide full support for an international human rights tribunal that would examine the abuses and killings (in East Timor) ... [but the Pentagon] has persisted in advocating military assistance to Indonesia, even when this has meant exploiting loopholes in legislation enacted to end military aid," Lynn Fredriksson, Foreign Policy in Focus
BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor home February news
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