Subject: Sutiyoso should have been arrested - Indonesian NGOs

Also Sutiyoso incident a 'routine' matter in cases of human rights violations; Sutiyoso incident designed to slander TNI - Suyanto

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Sutiyoso should have been arrested - Indonesian NGOs

Detik.com - May 31, 2007

Anwar Khumaini, Jakarta -- Non-government organisations from Indonesia's NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy (Koalisi LSM) say that Jakarta governor Sutiyoso should have been arrested because he refused a court order.

The groups made the statement in response to the New South Wales police raid on Sutiyoso's room at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, Australia. Sutiyoso is believed to have been involved in a human rights case related to the death of five Australian journalists in Balibo, East Timor, in 1975.

"The [police's] actions were legally correct. It was an official summons from a judge. If refused, he should have been arrested", exclaimed Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) Deputy Coordinator Choirul Anam during a joint press conference attended by representatives from Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and a number of other NGOs at the Kontras offices on Jl. Borobudur in Central Jakarta on Thursday May 31.

The coordinator of Koalisi LSM, Rafendi Djamin meanwhile said that the incident does not need to be addressed politically but rather from a legal point of view. "We have to be wise, [and understand] that the courts actions were the actions of an independent institution that occasionally clashes with the executive", said Djamin.

He added that it is not in fact just Sutiyoso that is connected with this case. Long beforehand, the operational commander of the attack on Balibo, retired Major General Yunus Yosfiah had been summoned by the coroner's court. "Sutiyoso became his representative and there are eight [other] generals that are [also] suspected of being involved", said Djamin.

"The public doesn't need to overreact. Don't let us then become anti-Australian and close the Australian Embassy. The [Embassy has] absolutely no relationship [with the incident]", he asserted. (bal/sss)

Notes:

According to United Nations police, who in 2000 began a formal investigation into the killing of five Australian-based journalists at Balibo, then Captain Sutiyoso was one of several officers involved in the attack and other clandestine operations against Portuguese East Timor in 1975. In October of that year, Sutiyoso led an assault by Indonesian troops on the sleepy coastal town of Batugade in Timor, the first time that Jakarta had occupied and held a foreign town and the precursor to the full-scale invasion of East Timor two months later.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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Sutiyoso incident a 'routine' matter in cases of human rights violations

Detik.com - May 31, 2007

Anwar Khumaini, Jakarta -- The raid by New South Wales police on Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso's hotel room in Sydney, Australia, should be considered as a routine matter.

In upholding cases of gross human rights violations, it is not just state officials that could be arrested but even the president can be arrested if he is involved in gross human rights violations.

"Alberto (sic) Pinochet (the former president of Chile) was able to be arrested", said the coordinator of the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Rafendi Djamin during a press conference at the offices of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) on Jl. Borobudur in Central Jakarta on Thursday May 31.

Djamin said that even a president who has political immunity can be arrested let alone Sutiyoso who does not have any political immunity. "If [they] are involved in international crimes they can also still be arrested", he said.

He said that Indonesia itself could in fact take similar actions to those taken by the Australian police. If there were a president or other state official that was involved in committing gross human rights violations, Indonesia would have the right to question them. "Indonesia has ratified the Convention on Torture, so it can also arrest government officials or other heads of state that have violated human rights", he added.

Djamin added that it is not just Sutiyoso that could experience such a thing but former General Wiranto could also be arrested if he goes overseas because he has also been involved in cases of gross human rights violations in East Timor. "He could become a suspect based on international crimes and universal jurisdiction", he said accusingly. (ziz/nrl)

Notes:

According to United Nations police, who in 2000 began a formal investigation into the killing of five Australian-based journalists at Balibo, then Captain Sutiyoso was one of several officers involved in the attack and other clandestine operations against Portuguese East Timor in 1975. In October of that year, Sutiyoso led an assault by Indonesian troops on the sleepy coastal town of Batugade in Timor, the first time that Jakarta had occupied and held a foreign town and the precursor to the full-scale invasion of East Timor two months later.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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Sutiyoso incident designed to slander TNI - Suyanto

Detik.com - May 31, 2007

Iqbal Fadil, Jakarta -- The raid on Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso's room at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, Australia, is related to his past when as a officer of the Indonesian military (TNI) he served in East Timor. The Commander in Chief of the TNI even sees the incident as an effort to slander the TNI.

In 1975 Sutiyoso took part in the Flamboyan (poinciana tree) and Seroja (lotus) operations in East Timor, at the same time as the incident of the shooting of five Australian media journalists in Balibo, East Timor took place.

"There are non-government organisation interests overseas, particularly in Australia, who are always slandering and [trying to] force the TNI into a corner. It's never ending. As if the TNI is still looking for people in Papua or taking care of refugees in East Timor", said TNI Commander in Chief Admiral Djoko Suyanto at the TNI's headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Thursday May 31.

So advocacy against the TNI's image being conducted by NGOs overseas, he continued, is still incessant. And they are looking through the mirror of incidents of human rights violations in the past. But they do not see the developments within the TNI since 2000, which has been reformed.

"Whereas for the TNI East Timor is a thing of the past, [now] it is precisely how we can safeguard the relationship with East Timor so that it is more favorable and better", said Suyanto.

When asked what his response was with regard to what befell Sutiyoso, Suyanto said he regretted the incident. "I was also angry. Pak Sutiyoso phoned me at the time. And I said, your actions were correct in throwing the police out of your room", he said.

Suyanto also explained that Sutiyoso had never been assigned to Balibo, but had instead been deployed in the northern part of East Timor. (sss/ana)

Notes:

According to United Nations police, who in 2000 began a formal investigation into the killing of five Australian-based journalists at Balibo, then Captain Sutiyoso was one of several officers involved in the attack and other clandestine operations against Portuguese East Timor in 1975. In October of that year, Sutiyoso led an assault by Indonesian troops on the sleepy coastal town of Batugade in Timor, the first time that Jakarta had occupied and held a foreign town and the precursor to the full-scale invasion of East Timor two months later.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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The INDOLEFT news service is produced by the Institute of Liberation, Media and Social Studies (LPMIS) and Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific.

INDOLEFT News Service Jl. Tebet Timur Dalam VIII No. 6A Jakarta Selatan 12820 Indonesia

E-mail: jamesbalowski@yahoo.com


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