Subject: IHRC: Comittee Supports NZ's Robson's Criticism of Indo Military

Indonesian Human Rights Comittee Supports Robson

14 August 2000, 11:12 am Press Release: Indonesia Human Rights Committee (NZ)

Support For Matt Robson's Criticism Of The Indonesian Military From The Indonesia Human Rights Committee

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee has written to Hon Matt Robson to support his criticism of the Indonesian military and its role in prolonging the instability and the killings on the border between East and West Timor.

"It is staggering that the Minister should come under fire for 'telling it like it is'. There is strong circumstantial evidence that the Indonesian military has been directly involved in the clashes which have occurred inside East Timor. New Zealand peacekeepers found Indonesian military equipment including a shirt with special forces patch in an area close to where Private Manning was murdered."

"The Minister's comments serve to reinforce the statements made recently by the UN Secretary General who has called on Indonesia to end militia violence, and the strong call made recently by the UN Security Council for Indonesia to ensure the safety and security of UN personnel."

"The United States Ambassador to Indonesia Mr Gelbard has explicitly called on Indonesia to withdraw two Indonesian Army battalions - 744 and 745 - suggesting that they were responsible for much of the insecurity along the border and for intimidation and violence in the refugee camps. He said on August 2 (Sydney Morning Herald) : "There are still clearly elements within TNI (Indonesian military) that are continuing to support the militias." He described Indonesia's inaction as lamentable and inexcusable."

"We also pointed out to Mr Robson that the Indonesian military are almost certainly involved in fomenting the recent violence in Maluku - five members of the Indonesian Kopassus special forces were arrested recently in the Maluku capital of Ambon."

"We have told him that his clear and justified criticism of the Indonesian military and his support for global efforts to ensure that Indonesia controls its military has our full support."


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