Subject: Resolution on the human rights situation in Indonesia and East Timor
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 18:51:53 -0000
From: "Paula Carvalho Pinto" <>

Minutes of 14/01/99 - Provisional Edition

Human rights

B4-0056, 0064, 0066, 0092, 0101 and 0108/99

Resolution on the human rights situation in Indonesia and East Timor

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Indonesia and East Timor, - having regard to the UN resolutions on East Timor, - having regard to the conclusions of the European Council meeting on 11 and 12 December 1998,

A. whereas since the fall of the dictator Suharto the situation in Indonesia has hardly changed, despite the reform promises made by President Habibie when he took office in May last year, both as regards the lack of democracy and respect for human rights and as regards improvements in the living conditions of broad sections of the population,

B. whereas Indonesian security forces have responded to demonstrations and riots with excessive and lethal force, notably in mid-November last year when 16 people are believed to have been killed in Jakarta and in the last few days in Aceh, where at least eight soldiers and 17 civilians were killed in riots and a subsequent crackdown,

C. concerned about unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and torture, particularly in Aceh, East Timor and Irian Jaya and about the army's use of paramilitary troops to increase tension in those areas,

D. whereas, despite various international appeals, the political situation in East Timor remains completely unchanged, and indeed there has been a crackdown by Indonesian troops directed against the civilian population in Alas in November, leaving a still unspecified number of people dead,

E. concerned that the number of troops in East Timor is twice as high as officially acknowledged by the Government and that their number have even increased since last year,

F. whereas some political prisoners are still being selectively released, but not those sentenced to death in Indonesia since 1965 nor those sentenced for their opposition to the annexation of East Timor, notably Xanana Gusmão,

G. whereas despite the fact that President Habibie has stated that he recognises the special status of East Timor, owing to its specific religious and cultural features, he continues to refuse the people of East Timor the right to self-determination,

H. whereas general elections will take place on 7 June 1999 throughout Indonesia and on the territory of East Timor,

1. Holds the present political regime in Indonesia, including the armed forces and the police, responsible for the climate of social, religious and political instability which continues to pervade Indonesia and East Timor;

2. Notes that the measures taken and efforts made to return to normality since the fall of Suharto do not have any real substance;

3. Considers it necessary to meet the demands which sparked off the public protests leading to the present situation, notably as regards democratisation in Indonesia, the holding of democratic elections and respect for human rights, improvements in the living conditions of the population and combating corruption;

4. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, in particular those who have been held for 33 years and those opposing the occupation of East Timor;

5. Calls for respect for the right of the Indonesian people to participate in peaceful demonstrations, and for compliance with international standards on the use of force and firearms and for measures to ensure that those who violate these provisions are brought to justice;

6. Calls for an independent investigation into the recent disappearances of political activists and for reports of excessive or lethal force against demonstrators to be immediately and independently investigated;

7. Calls for the clear separation of the military and the police forces and the restriction of the military to its defence role;

8. Urges the Indonesian Government to withdraw its armed forces from East Timor and to suspend the selective distribution of arms;

9. Holds the Indonesian Government and the Indonesian military responsible, and condemns them, for the crackdown on the civilian population in Alas and calls for the immediate opening of an inquiry under the aegis of the UN to establish the identity of those directly responsible for those acts of violence;

10. Calls once more on the Indonesian Government to modify its stonewalling policy on the problem of East Timor so that the UN-brokered negotiations can make more rapid progress and a solution to this problem can be found as soon as possible, ensuring the self-determination of this territory through free and fair elections;

11. Reiterates the decision contained in its resolution of 21 November 1991 on the massacre in East Timor(1) that a parliamentary delegation should be sent there;

12. Calls on the Council and the Commission to raise its concern on the human rights situation in Indonesia in the context of the upcoming EU-ASEAN meeting;

13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Indonesian Government, the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and to ASEAN.

1) OJ C 326, 16.12.1991, p. 182.

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