|Subject: RT: Indon rights abuses largely
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 09:21:32 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo:
March 18, 1:24 a.m. ET
*Indonesian rights abuses largely unchanged-Amnesty
SYDNEY, March 18 (Reuters) - Amnesty International said on Thursday that torture, disappearances and unlawful killings continued in Indonesia despite President B.J. Habibie's human rights reforms since coming to power in May 1998.
``While the measures which have been taken are welcome, there are still questions about the Habibie government's commitment to human rights reform,'' Amnesty said in a report titled ``Indonesia, An Audit of Human Rights Reform.''
The report said the Indonesian government had not begun to address many of the legal and institutional changes needed to protect human rights.
``As a result the pattern of human rights violations -- the arrest of individuals engaging in legitimate peaceful activities, torture, ill- treatment, 'disappearances' and unlawful killings -- remains largely unchanged,'' the report said.
Amnesty said more than 30 Indonesian prisoners of conscience remained in jail for peaceful political activities and laws allowing imprisonment for peaceful protests remained unchanged.
``The government has not reviewed the convictions against political prisoners imprisoned following unfair trials,'' it said.
``A much publicised government commitment to repeal the anti-subversion law has not yet been fulfilled, and there are fears that the government intends to incorporate some of its key provisions into the criminal code or a new national security law effectively rendering its appeal, when it eventually happens, meaningless,'' Amnesty said.
Indonesia's anti-subversion law carries penalties ranging from 18 months imprisonment to the death penalty.
Amnesty also said that while human rights violations by the Indonesia military had been investigated and officers brought to trial, there was ``no concerted effort towards ending impunity.''
However, Amnesty welcomed the relaxation of restrictions on political parties, independent trade unions and the media. It also welcomed the release of a number of political prisoners and Indonesia's cooperation with the United Nations on human rights.