Note: Thanks to your efforts, the U.S. did publicly suspend military
ties with Indonesia. (see ETAN's
media release.) Calls and letters are still needed to insure the
suspension remains in effect.
East Timor ACTION ALERT
TAKE ACTION FOR EAST TIMOR
STOP THE VIOLENCE NOW
Murderous Militias Rampage Through West Timor
U.S. Must Publicly Suspend All Contact With Indonesian Security Forces
ON SEPTEMBER 6, militias hacked to
death three international UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
workers; an unknown number of as yet unidentified local refugees and
citizens in Atambua, West Timor were also killed. Militia groups have
launched repeated raids in East Timor over the last several months. More
than 100 militia members are said to be operating inside East Timor,
causing many villagers to flee in fear. The Indonesian military (TNI)
created, armed, and trained these militias.
Overwhelming evidence links the TNI, particularly the notorious elite
special forces unit Kopassus, to recent militia attacks. The U.S.
government must stop equivocating about Indonesian military support and
suspend all further relations at this time. The U.S. should immediately
sever all ties with the TNI publicly, including military visits and the
sale of any spare parts, until the military is verifiably under civilian
control and military-sponsored atrocities have ceased.
* * *
We regret to inform those of you who haven't yet heard that our friend Jafar
Siddiq Hamzah was identified this week among five mutilated bodies
located outside of Medan, Indonesia Jafar was a gentle and tireless
advocate for peace and human rights for Aceh. His death is a loss to the
world. The U.S. and Indonesian governments must ensure full and
transparent investigations into his murder, and bring those responsible
for his death to justice. See below for more
What YOU Can Do
* Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Stanley
Roth, 202-647-9596; 647-7350 (fax); 2201 C St., NW, Washington, DC 20520;
E-mail: Secretary of State Albright at email@example.com;
* Secretary of Defense William Cohen, 703-692-7100; 697-9080 (fax).
1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000. Web form to send
Secretary Cohen will be
visiting Indonesia on September 17.
The U.S. must publicly suspend all assistance to the Indonesian
military and police, including all visits and the sale of any spare parts,
until Indonesia meets critical conditions, including verified:
* disarming and disbanding militia groups, and the arrest and
extradition of known militia leaders;
* safe repatriation of East Timorese refugees;
* protection of international and local humanitarian workers in West
* genuine accountability for all those responsible for atrocities
committed in East and West Timor, which requires unreserved support for an
* full and transparent investigations into the death of Jafar Siddiq
Hamzah and others in Aceh who have lost their lives to military and
militia violence, and accountability for those responsible.
Please also continue to make calls to your Representative and Senators
with the same message. The congressional switchboard number is
202-224-3121, or consult www.congress.gov
for fax or email information. To find out who your members of Congress
are, contact your local League of Women Voters.
Thank you! Your calls do make a big difference.
After months of escalating violence, TNI-supported militias rampaged
through Atambua, West Timor, following the murder of a well-known militia
leader who had earlier in the week been named by the Indonesian attorney
general's office on a list of 19 suspects for crimes committed in East
Timor. His murder was suspiciously similar to others killed by the
notorious Kopassus special forces. As Indonesian military and police
looked on, militias attacked the UNHCR office and went door-to-door
searching for international aid workers. They hacked to death and then
burned the bodies of three UNHCR workers, and murdered an unknown number
of East Timorese refugees and West Timorese citizens. The violence is
believed to have spread to Kupang, the capital of West Timor, and to Betun,
both areas that hold many refugees. Because of the near complete
evacuation of international personnel, the exact death toll and full
extent of current violence is unknown. But we do know that vulnerable East
Timorese refugees and residents of West Timor are now without protection
from homicidal militias. Without humanitarian assistance in the camps,
food and medical supplies for the refugees are dangerously low.
Last week's deadly attack is the worst of more than one hundred
assaults on aid workers and refugees reported by UNHCR in West Timor
refugee camps since September 1999, and the worst attack ever on UN
civilian workers, according to UN sources. Most international personnel
have since been evacuated from West Timor, but local human rights
activists, NGO workers, and East Timorese refugees remain at the mercy of
Militias have also launched repeated border raids over the last several
months. More than 100 militia members are said to be operating inside
independent East Timor, causing many to flee their villages in fear,
grimly reminiscent of last year's referendum period operations. Since late
July, militias have killed two UN peacekeepers, injured several others,
and engaged in several gun battles along the East Timor border.
The Indonesian military (TNI) created, armed, and trained these
militias. Overwhelming evidence links the TNI, particularly Kopassus, to
recent militia attacks. The U.S. government must stop equivocating about
Indonesian military support and suspend all further relations at this
time. The U.S. should immediately sever all ties with the TNI publicly,
including military visits and the sale of any spare parts, until the
military is verifiably under civilian control and military-sponsored
atrocities have ceased.
The U.S. government must demand that military-supported violence in
East Timor and throughout Indonesia stop now! If Indonesian authorities
cannot or will not control their own troops and the militias they support,
international assistance should be allowed in.
* * *
Acehnese human rights lawyer Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, a permanent U.S.
resident, founded and chaired the International Forum on Aceh (IFA), a
non-governmental organization campaigning for peace and human rights in
Aceh. Jafar worked to alert the world of military crackdowns in his
homeland. ETAN often worked with Jafar to address human rights issues and
military violence in East Timor and Indonesia. Serious human rights
violations are routine in Aceh, where over 300 Acehnese have been killed
and many others disappeared this year, many by Indonesian security forces.
Jafar had been missing for one month when his body was found with four
others, so unrecognizable that identification had to be made by autopsy.
Indonesian human rights advocates suspect TNI involvement in Jafar's
murder. Jafar's case merits the formation of a high-level civilian
investigative team that includes the Indonesian attorney general's office
and Komnas HAM, Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights, as well
as international observers, to ensure transparency and accountability over
Contact Karen Orenstein at ETAN's
Washington office, firstname.lastname@example.org, or John
September 11, 2000
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