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US Congress:

Indonesia: Rights Violations

and Escalating Violence

 
Sidney Jones, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, and two other panel speakers at Indonesia Human Rights Network in Washington D.C, in March 2001, are seriously taking notes of the speaker, Hendardi, chairman of Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights.
 
May 22, 2001 Sense of congress regarding human rights violations in West Papua and Acheh, including the murder of Jafar Siddiq Hamzah and escalating violance in Maluku and central Kalimantan
  By Kurt Biddle
THE ACHEH TIMES
   
 

     
There is supporting documentation from the United States Department of State and other reliable sources that Indonesian military and police forces have committed widespread acts of torture, rape, disappearance and
extra-judicial executions against West Papuan and Achenese civilians.

 

 

  FindingsThe Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Human rights violations by elements of the Indonesian Government continue to worsen in West Papua (Irian Jaya) and Acheh, while other areas including the Moluccas (Maluku) and Central Kalimantan have experienced outbreaks of violence by militia forces and other organized groups.

(2) Seven West Papuans were shot dead by Indonesian security forces following a flag-raising ceremony in the town of Merauke on December 2, 2000, and in a separate incident four others were reportedly killed by Indonesian security forces after a West Papuan flag was raised in Tiom on
December 18, 2000.

(3) Indonesian police have attacked peaceful West Papuan civilians, including students in their dormitories at Cenderawasih University on December 6, 2000. This attack resulted in the beating and arrests of some 100 students as well as the deaths of three students, including one in police custody in the capital city of Jayapura.
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(4) To escape Indonesian security forces, hundreds of peaceful West Papuans have sought safety in refugee camps across the border in the neighboring state of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

(5) The Indonesian armed forces have announced that they are initiating `limited military operations' in Acheh, where the Exxon-Mobil gas company has suspended operations due to security concerns.

(6) On September 7, 2000, the body of Achenese human rights lawyer Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, who had been missing for a month, was identified along with four other badly decomposed bodies, whose faces were bashed in and whose hands and feet were bound with barbed wire, in a forested area outside of Medan, in North Sumatra.

(7) Hamzah, a permanent resident of the United States who resided in Queens, New York, was last seen alive on August 5, 2000, in Medan, after which he failed to keep an appointment and his family lost all contact with him.

(8) As the founder and director of the International Forum on Acheh, which works for peace and human rights in Acheh, Hamzah was an important voice of moderation and an internationally known representative of his people who
made irreplaceable contributions to peace and respect for human rights in his homeland.

(9) The Indonesian government has failed to release the results of Jafar Siddiq Hamzah's autopsy report, and the inaccessibility of the report has delayed the investigation which could lead to bringing the murderers to justice.

Iskandar Muda M. Saleh, 30 yrs, from Babah Lhok, South Acheh, was shot dead by police Brimob. Iskandar was executed at 3.00 PM Indonesia time, in Ds. Cot Mane, Blang Pidie - South Acheh, when was making to attend the referendum rally in Banda Acheh on November 8, 2000.

(10) There is supporting documentation from the United States Department of State and other reliable sources that Indonesian military and police forces have committed widespread acts of torture, rape, disappearance and
extra-judicial executions against West Papuan and Achenese civilians.

(11) In Maluku, where Muslim and Christian peoples lived in peace and respected with each other for decades, thousands have been killed and tens of thousands displaced during outbreaks of violence over the past three years.

(12) Militia forces known as the Laskar Jihad have arrived from Java and other islands outside Maluku to inflame hatred and perpetrate violence against Christians, and to create religious intolerance among the people of Maluku, and the Laskar Jihad has been openly encouraged by some Indonesian leaders including Amien Rais, Chair of the People's Consultative Assembly.

(13) Muslim and Christian leaders alike have called for the arrest of militia leaders in Maluku and asking for international assistance in ending this devastating conflict.

(14) The most recent instance of widespread violence in Indonesia has broken out on the island of Kalimantan (Borneo), in the province of Central Kalimantan, where indigenous Dayaks brutally attacked migrant Madurese,
killing hundreds and causing thousands of others to flee.

(15) The people of the island of Madura who were resettled in Kalimantan under the auspices of the Soeharto government's transmigration program, which served to strengthen the political control of the regime, have become
scapegoats for official government policy, while the Dayaks have suffered from this policy and from official exploitation of the natural resources of their homeland.

     
The Congress expresses its deep concern over ongoing human rights violations committed by Indonesian military and police forces against civilians in West Papua and Acheh, as well as over violence by militias and others in Maluku, Central Kalimantan, and elsewhere in Indonesia.

 

  Sense of CongressThe Congress:
  1. expresses its deep concern over ongoing human rights violations committed by Indonesian military and police forces against civilians in West Papua and Acheh, as well as over violence by militias and others in Maluku, Central Kalimantan, and elsewhere in Indonesia;
  2. calls upon the United States Department of State to publicly protest the reemergence of political imprisonment in Indonesia and to take necessary steps to release, immediately and unconditionally, all political prisoners, including Rev. Obed Komba, Rev. Yudas Meage, Yafet Yelemaken, Murjono Murib and Amelia Yigibalom of West Papua, and Muhammad Nazar of Acheh, all adopted by Amnesty International as Prisoners of Conscience, and student
    demonstrators Matius Rumbrapuk, Laon Wenda, Jenderal Achmad Yani, Joseph Wenda and Hans Gobay of West Papua.
  3. calls upon the Department of State to support and encourage the Government of Indonesia to engage in peaceful dialogue with respected West Papuan community leaders and other members of West Papuan civil society, as prescribed by the 1999 Terms of Reference for the National Dialogue on Irian Jaya, and to urge the Governor of West Papua to create an environment conducive to the peaceful repatriation of West Papuan refugees and `illegal border crossers' who now reside in Papua New Guinea.
  4. calls upon the United States Government to press the Government of Indonesia to permit access to West Papua and Acheh, including the project areas of the United States-owned Freeport mine and Exxon-Mobil facilities,
    by independent human rights and environmental monitors, including the United Nations special rapporteurs on torture and extra-judicial execution, as well as by humanitarian nongovernmental organizations;
  5. calls upon the United States Government to press for the withdrawal of nonorganic troops from West Papua and Acheh, and an overall reduction of force numbers in those areas, particularly along the PNG border;
  6. calls upon the Government of Indonesia to release the autopsy report of Jafar Siddiq Hamzah immediately, to conduct a thorough, open, and transparent investigation of the murder of Hamzah and the four others with whom he was found, to offer full access and support to independent investigators and forensics experts brought in to examine these cases, and to ensure that the perpetrators of these atrocities are brought to justice through open and fair trials;
  7. condemns the recent atrocities in Central Kalimantan the failure of Indonesian police and other security forces to intervene to stop these atrocities, as well as the underlying social and economic conditions caused by systematic transmigration programs, imported labor, and inequitable and destructive exploitation of local natural resources that have worsened the poverty and discrimination which were contributing factors in their commission;
  8. condemns comparable Indonesian Government policies in Maluku and the failure of Indonesian police and other security forces in and around Ambon to halt sectarian violence, including the operations of the Laskar Jihad militia;
  9. calls upon the Government of Indonesia to take decisive action to halt sectarian violence in Maluku and to arrest those guilty of violence, including Laskar Jihad militia leaders and armed forces officers guilty of complicity in their operations against civilians, and to make significant progress towards rehabilitation and reestablishment of local communities
    displaced by the violence and rebuild the physical infrastructure of the communities;
  10. calls upon the Department of State to support United Nations and other international delegations and monitoring efforts by international and nongovernmental agencies in West Papua, Acheh, Maluku, Central Kalimantan, West Timor, and other areas of Indonesia in order to deter further human rights violations, and to encourage and support international and nongovernmental agencies in efforts to help the people of Indonesia rebuild and rehabilitate communities torn by violence, particularly by assisting in the return of internally displaced peoples and in efforts at reconciliation within and among communities;
  11. calls upon the Department of State to ensure that all appropriate information regarding current conditions in the West Papua, Acheh, Maluku, Kalimantan, and elsewhere in Indonesia is included in the Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom;
  12. calls upon the Government of Indonesia to devote official attention, in an atmosphere of openness and transparency and oversight, to investigations into the numerous cases of disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and other serious human rights violations in West Papua, Acheh, Maluku, Central Kalimantan, elsewhere in Indonesia, and occupied East Timor; and
  13. calls upon the United States Government to continue to insist upon vigorous investigation into all such violations, and upon trials according to international standards for military and police officers, militia leaders, and others accused of such violations.

Kurt Biddle is Washington Coordinator Indonesia Human Rights Network. Office: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. SE Washington, DC 20003 USA. Phone: 1 (202) 544-1211

   
    The article is distributed by Tapol in London
   
 
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