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Action ALERT

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

Last Chance to Cut Military Assistance for Indonesia This Year

Call Your Members of Congress Today

This is our last chance to cut U.S. assistance for Indonesia's brutal military for 2008. The spending bill that funds military assistance, the foreign operations appropriations bill, is expected to be finalized shortly.
 
The House-passed version of the bill contains far less funding for the Indonesian military than the Senate version. While we firmly believe that Indonesia should receive no military assistance, at this time, we must let Congress know that we prefer the House's proposed $8 million maximum in foreign military financing (FMF) for Indonesia rather than the Senate's $17.6 million maximum. (FMF provides grants and loans to foreign governments to buy military supplies and services.) Congress needs to hear from you now!
 
Call your two Senators and Representative today! Ask to speak to the foreign policy staffer.

  •  Urge them to ensure that the lower funding level for foreign military financing for Indonesia is included in the final Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, as passed in the House version of the bill (rather than the Senate version).

  •  Tell them that since all restrictions on military assistance to Indonesia were ended, military reform and human rights accountability have stalled or moved backwards.

You can reach all members of Congress through the congressional switchboard, 202-224-3121. If you reach a voice mail, please leave a message for the staffer. And please let us know if you do make the phone calls and how they went.

Contact: John M. Miller, ETAN's National Coordinator, john@etan.org, 718-596-7668. Thank you!
 
Your efforts can make all the difference.
 
More Information
 
Since Congress ended all restrictions on military assistance to Indonesia in late 2005, military reform and human rights accountability have stalled or moved backwards. Indonesian officials continue to evade accountability for their past human rights crimes in East Timor and Indonesia. Promises by Indonesia's president to reform the military budget and to hold accountable members of the military remain unfulfilled. Current and former military accused of serious crimes continue to receive promotions and sensitive commands. For example, Col. Burhanuddin Siagian -- a senior commander in West Papua indicted twice by the UN-backed Serious Crimes Process in East Timor for crimes against humanity -- recently threatened to "destroy" anyone who "betrays" Indonesia. Moreover, regulations to implement three-year old legislation to end military-ownership of businesses have yet to be issued, despite repeated promises to do so. Furthermore, access to Papua remains restricted. Papuan human rights advocates who recently met with UN officials are now facing harassment.

The amount for FMF appropriated in the Senate version of the foreign operations appropriations bill -- up to $17.7 million -- is more than 17 times the amount allocated for the Indonesian military in 2007. There has been no dramatic change in the Indonesian military's conduct over the past year to warrant such a large increase.
 
For more information, contact John M. Miller, 718-596-7668.

see also Guide to U.S. Security Assistance to Indonesia and East Timor

Masters of Terror Not So Distant Horror

Masters of Terror:
Indonesia's Military and Violence in East Timor

Not So Distant Horror
Mass Violence in East Timor

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