Subject: Prime Timor Suspect Damiri inspects troops for Aceh

Prime Suspect for Crimes against Humanity in Timor InspectsTroops Ready for Action in Aceh

Major-General Adam Damiri, the top-ranking army suspect for crimes against humanity in East Timor, was in Surabaya, East Java today (18 April) to inspect more than a thousand troops from the East Java military command who have received special counter-insurgency training in readiness to take part in military operations in Aceh.

Major-General Adam Damiri was the commander of the Udayana Military Command based in Bali at the time of the UN-conducted referendum in East Timor in 1999, and was in overall charge of the troops in East Timor who were involved in massive atrocities before and after the referendum. Many of the atrocities were perpetrated by militia gangs who were financed, trained and equipped by the Indonesian army, functioning under Damiri's command.

He was the second highest ranking army officer named by an Indonesian investigation team for East Timor which completed its work fifteen months ago, at the end of January 2000. The highest ranking officer named, General Wiranto (then commander in chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces), was not included among the suspects named by the Attorney-General's team, which places Damiri at the top of the list of 22 suspects.

After what was a routine replacement as Udayana commander, Damiri was appointed Operations Chief-of-Staff of the Indonesian Army/TNI, a position that he still occupies. This means that he is in overall control of troop placements for the entire Indonesian army and on this occasion for the troops who have been specially trained for dispatch to Aceh. They will take part in new counter-insurgency operations which are due to commence soon, following the publication last week of Presidential Instruction 4/2001 for the launching of 'security operations' in Aceh.

Although Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman has said on a number of occasions that the trials of suspects for crimes against humanity in East Timor are on track to take place, and parliament earlier this month adopted a decision for an ad hoc court on East Timor to be set up, there are no signs that any trials are likely to start soon. Paliament's decision for an ad hoc court on East Timor must still be endorsed by President Wahid. Instead of setting up the ad hoc court, Wahid is now complicit in issuing orders to a man who ought to be appearing in court, thereby giving him the opportunity to perpetrate yet more crimes against humanity.

Prime Suspect Adam Damiri is again in the business of sending counter-insurgency troops to a 'trouble-spot', this time round with special instructions to destroy the armed resistance in Aceh.

According to Kompas, 18 April, Adam Damiri inspected 1,040 troops from Infantry Battalion 516 of the East Java military command, who have just completed special training for operations in Aceh. For operations in Aceh, the 650 members of Infantry Battalion 516 have been joined by two companies from Infantry Battalion 507 consisting of men trained to hunt down guerrillas (altogether 260 men) and one company from Infantry Battalion 521 (130 men) trained for the same purpose. These companies will be used to

guard security in residential areas.

During the inspection ceremony, Damiri told the troops that they must make sure to give all 'separatists' whom they kill a decent burial. 'Once they are dead,' he said, 'they are no longer separatists and must be treated well.' He also warned the troops not to shoot the wrong people, adding: ''If you are going to murder (membunuh) anyone, you should only do this in a tight corner, when your own life is in danger,' he said.

The troops were also instructed to help restore the local economy which is in a state of paralysis because local people are too afraid to carry out their normal business activities.

While in Surabaya, Damiri also inspected 682 troops waiting to be dispatched to Ambon.

Meanwhile, according the, 18 April, army chief of staff General Endriartono Sutarto has announced that six companies from the Jakarta military command are due to be dispatched to Aceh on Friday, 20 April, after completing training at the Kopassus training centre in Batu Jajar, West Java.

TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon CR7 8HW, UK. tel +44 020 8771 2904 fax +44 020 8653 0322

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