Subject: Des Moines Register: Indonesia adds Iowa doctor to 'blacklist'
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 09:25:53 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

The Des Moines Register August 10, 1999, Tuesday

Indonesia adds Iowa doctor to 'blacklist'

Danielle Nieves

Register Staff Writer

By DANIELLE NIEVES Register Staff Writer

A Cedar Falls doctor trying to start a clinic for expectant mothers in an impoverished area of Indonesia has been banned from re-entering the country.

Government officials told Dr. Dan Murphy that he overstayed his visa. Medical volunteers say Murphy is being singled out for his political views.

"It's generally acknowledged that Indonesia doesn't take criticism well," said Max White, an Oregon man who worked with Murphy on the clinic project. " And Dr. Murphy has been known for being very candid."

Murphy has volunteered since November at the Motael Clinic in Dili, East Timor, where voters will decide on independence on Aug. 30.

East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, was overtaken by Indonesia in 1975. Many of East Timor's doctors were Indonesians who left when the government announced earlier this year that it will allow a vote on independence.

Wayne Moyer, a political science professor at Grinnell College, said there have been "heavy human-rights violations" against the East Timor people, and that Murphy "is in a political powder keg right now."

"There's a bit of a Kosovo situation there. They have never felt themselves a part of Indonesia, much like the ethnic Albanians hadn't felt a part of Yugoslavia," Moyer said. "The Indonesian government is extraordinarily sensitive about this. They don't want anybody strengthening the revolutionary movement."

Indonesian authorities said Murphy twice had overstayed his visa. Colleagues and coworkers said the government might have perceived Murphy, who still owns a medical practice in Cedar Falls, as too outspoken on human- rights issues.

Murphy, reached Monday in Darwin, Australia, said he is on a "blacklist" in East Timor.

"They don't like the fact that I'm trying to take care of the people they're attacking," he said. "We have received all of the wounded from the Indonesian military and from groups who have been injured by militia groups.

"The media has been at the clinics a lot. I've been unable to keep a low profile."

White said it's critical that doctors and volunteers like Murphy are allowed in the country.

"There's an abysmal lack of health care here," he said. "There's very few doctors available."

White said volunteers have dealt with a large number of malaria and tuberculosis cases.

"Rarely have I seen anyone as committed and effective as Dan Murphy," White said. "That's one of the reasons I really want to see him back here."

White said U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., has spoken on Murphy's behalf to Indonesian authorities.

Chj Morris, a nurse at the medical practice owned by Murphy in Cedar Falls, said Murphy always has been outspoken about issues in Third World medicine. "

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