East Timor ACTION Network ALERT
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Urge Congress to Continue & Expand Restrictions on U.S.-Indonesia
On February 26, the Bush administration
announced that Indonesia can fully participate in the prestigious IMET
military training program for the first time since 1992! Yet the
Indonesian military continues to aggressively violate human rights and
enjoy impunity for crimes against humanity committed in East Timor and
elsewhere. Congress must oppose Secretary of State’s decision.
What You Can Do:
Contact your Representative and 2 Senators. Tell them:
- The release of full IMET for Indonesia is a setback for human
rights, justice and democratic reform.
- Congress must vigorously protest the State Department’s decision to
release IMET funds, reinstate the restriction of IMET for Indonesia, and
put in place broad restrictions on all military assistance to Indonesia
in the 2006 legislative process.
Phone calls and faxes are generally more effective than emails. The
congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121 (ask for the office of
your Senators or Representative), or check
http://www.congress.org on the
internet for direct phone line, fax or e-mail contact information.
Every call makes a difference, so please contact your members of Congress
Thanks for your support. Please let us know the results of your
efforts. Send updates to email@example.com.
For more information, see U.S.-Indonesia
Military Assistance page or
contact ETAN, 718-596-7668
(modify to your own words)
Representative [LAST NAME],
I am writing to oppose U.S. support for the Indonesian military.
I am disturbed that the administration recently announced that it
will allow full IMET for Indonesia, which has clearly failed to meet
the congressionally-mandated condition requiring full cooperate with
the investigation into the ambush murders of two Americans and an
Indonesian in West Papua on August 31, 2002.
The Indonesian military continues to resist reform, evade
accountability for human rights violations in East Timor and
elsewhere, and commit atrocious human rights violations throughout
Indonesia. . According to the State Department’s Country Report on
Human Rights Practices released just two days after it reinstated
full IMET for Indonesia, “Security force members murdered, tortured,
raped, beat, and arbitrarily detained civilians and members of
separatist movements, especially in Aceh and to a lesser extent in
I urge you to vigorously protest the Secretary of State’s
certification of IMET and to actively work to renew and strengthen
restrictions on all military assistance programs for Indonesia in
the FY2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill and upcoming State
Department Authorization legislation..
I look forward to your response.
CITY, STATE ZIP
Background on U.S. Military Assistance to
According to the State Department’s
Country Report on Human Rights Practices released on Feb. 28,
“Security force members murdered, tortured, raped, beat, and arbitrarily
detained civilians and members of separatist movements, especially in Aceh
and to a lesser extent in Papua.” Yet just two days earlier, the State
Department announced that it was resuming full IMET (International
Military Education and Training) for Indonesia, training which Indonesian
authorities had sought for over a decade but which the U.S. Congress
denied them because of the military’s extremely poor human rights record.
Congress first voted to restrict Indonesia from receiving IMET, which
brings foreign military officers to the U.S. for training, in response to
the November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz massacre of more than 270 civilians in
East Timor by Indonesian troops wielding U.S.-supplied M-16 rifles. All
military ties with Indonesia were severed in September 1999 as the
Indonesian military and its militia proxies razed East Timor.
In November 2004, Congress
extended the ban on
IMET until the State Department could determine that the Indonesian armed
forces and government were cooperating with the FBI's investigation into
the August 2002 ambush murders of two Americans and an Indonesian on a
U.S. mining company (Louisiana-based Freeport McMoRan) road in West Papua.
The Indonesian police and human rights organizations have implicated the
military in that attack, which also seriously wounded 11 people. Congress
also continued the ban on foreign military financing (FMF) and export
licenses for lethal equipment for Indonesia until broader human rights
conditions are met.
On February 26, Secretary of State Rice
Indonesian authorities had cooperated with the FBI and authorized the
resumption of full IMET. But given the lack of progress on this case, the
State Department's certification of cooperation is false and misleading.
The sole suspect indicted so far by a U.S. grand jury remains at large in
military links, which appear to be extensive, have hardly been
examined. For the first six months after the
indictment was unsealed, Indonesian police did not inform U.S.
investigators about what they were doing regarding the investigation.
Stonewalling of the investigation into the ambush by Indonesian
authorities will undoubtedly intensify.
Release of full IMET has more to do with fulfilling the Bush
administration's long-term goal of increasing assistance for the
Indonesian military than bringing to justice all those responsible for the
ambush or encouraging democratic reforms. Indonesia has yet to fulfill
previous congressional conditions on IMET, including accountability for
rights violations in East Timor and Indonesia and transparency in the
military budget. In fact, the military continues to aggressively violate
human rights, especially in West Papua and tsunami-stricken Aceh. Many of
those indicted for crimes against humanity in East Timor continue to
maintain powerful positions.
East Timorese and
NGOs have repeatedly called for restrictions on military engagement to
be maintained. Victims and survivors of the West Papua killings have
called for restrictions to continue until their case is resolved.
Wolfowitz, a former ambassador to Indonesia who is now Deputy
Secretary of Defense and the main architect of the Bush administration’s
push to step up military engagement with Indonesia, recently said that
Indonesia has entered a “new era.” He once told Congress that "Any
balanced judgment" of the country's human rights situation under
then-President and dictator Suharto, "needs to take account of the
significant progress that Indonesia has already made” due to Suharto's
“strong and remarkable leadership." Suharto is considered one of the
twentieth century’s greatest war criminals, responsible for the deaths of
millions and the plundering of billions from impoverished Indonesia.
For more info see
Link to this alert at
Condemns Restoration of IMET for Indonesia;
Calls State Department's Certification Fraudulent and a Setback for
Justice, Human Rights and Reform
Groups Condemn Planned Restoration of IMET for Indonesia; Normalizing
Military Relations Will Undercut Limited Progress on Murder Case and Other
Human Rights Efforts
New Facts Link
Indonesian Military to "Terror Attack" on U.S. Citizens; Rice May Release
IMET to Indonesia Before Investigation Concludes
Tsunami Must Not
Sweep Away Restrictions on Indonesian Military