Subject: Reinstate EU arms ban on Indon, says rights group

Straits Times [Singapore] Jan 23 2000

Reinstate arms ban, says rights group

BRUSSELS -- A US-based human rights group joined the European Parliament's call in urging the European Union to reimpose an arms embargo on Indonesia, alleging ongoing rights violations by the Indonesian armed forces.

"Now is not the time to ease up pressure on Indonesia's generals," New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement issued by its Brussels office on Friday.

The plea -- which echoed one made on Thursday by the European Parliament in Strasbourg -- was issued ahead of a two-day EU foreign ministers' meeting that starts tomorrow in Brussels.

The union imposed a blanket arms embargo on Indonesia in September in outrage over violence in East Timor, but let it expire last Monday in support of President Abdurrahman Wahid's new government.

Human Rights Watch called for the reinstatement amid bloodshed in Aceh, Irian Jaya and Maluku, and no probe into East Timor's troubles. -- AFP


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