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Subject: AFP: EU-Indonesia rights seminar adopts 20 recommendations
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 15:49:26 GMT
From: hops <>

EU-Indonesia rights seminar adopts 20 recommendations

JAKARTA, Oct 29 (AFP) - A landmark rights seminar organised by Indonesia and the European Union closed here Thursday with the adoption of 20 recommendations on the role of the judiciary as well as the police and army.

The two-day workshop had been "a valuable exchange of views," said Marzuki Darusman, one of the organisers, who heads an Indonesian commission on human rights.

"Now the effort has to be taken by institutions in Indonesia," he added, putting forward the list of recommendations adopted by about 150 participants, including 100 high-level Indonesian officials.

Although no timetable has been set, the recommendations include the need to separate the army and the police, to ensure the independence of the judiciary and to boost the network of non-governmental organisations.

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook had stressed at the opening of the seminar: "The fact that it is taking place at all symbolises the new era of change in Indonesia, adding he felt a "new sense of liberty."

"There is a lively debate about human rights looking not only at the excesses of the past but also at ways in which respect for human rights can be enshrined in society for the future."

EU ambassador here Klauspeter Schmallenbach also hailed the seminar saying that "a co-operative human rights workshop could hardly have been envisaged only a few years ago.

"There is clearly a new dimension to the human rights discussion especially here in Indonesia."

The seminar "is a living proof that we have passed from declarations of intention to concrete discussion between experts on how to promote and protect human rights."

The seminar had originally been planned for June when Britain held the rotating presidency of the European Union.

But it was decided to postpone it in May when former president Suharto was toppled after 32 years in power by riots in the capital fuelled by popular anger at years of nepotism and cronyism at the highest levels.

The riots left about 1,000 people dead.

TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 8 Hop Gardens London WC2N 4EH Tel: 171 497 5355 Fax: 171 4975313 Email: Defending the rights of the victims of oppression in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh, 1973-1998

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