|Subject: CONG: House letter on Economic
Assistance to Indonesia (CGI)
November 6, 2001
Mr. Andrew S. Natsios Administrator U.S. Agency for International Development Room 6.09-010 RRB 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20523-6800
Dear Mr. Natsios:
In prelude to the meeting of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) scheduled for November 7-8 in Jakarta, we are writing both to inquire about the status of follow-up to statements made at the 2000 meeting concerning East Timor and Indonesia, and to urge that human rights be taken into account when formulating this year’s statements and pledges.
The U.S. delegation last year based their pledge “on the assumption that Indonesia will fulfill its responsibilities to the international community, including continued and full compliance with UNSCR 1319, and that our willingness to proceed with obligations under our pledge will take into account Indonesia’s progress toward these goals.” Among others, UN Security Council Resolution 1319 “stresses that those responsible for the attacks on international personnel in West and East Timor be brought to justice” and “insists that the Government of Indonesia take immediate additional steps…to disarm and disband the militia immediately, restore law and order in the affected areas in West Timor, ensure safety and security in the refugee camps and for humanitarian workers, and prevent cross-border incursions into East Timor.”
One year later, progress has been insufficient. Justice has not been served for the brutal September 6, 2000 killing of three UNHCR workers, including a U.S. citizen, which led to the writing and passage of UNSCR 1319. In an action condemned internationally, a Jakarta court handed down extremely light sentences of just ten to twenty months to six militia members who confessed to the killings. In June, our own Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 91 “condemning the murder of a United States citizen and other civilians, and expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the failure of the Indonesian judicial system to hold accountable those responsible for the killings.” The UNHCR has not returned to West Timor for any appreciable length of time since the murders, nor have those responsible for the murder of two UN peacekeepers in East Timor been held to account.
Some 80,000 East Timorese refugees remain in deplorable conditions in West Timor, the majority under armed and organized militia control. While we welcome recent repatriations, we note that it would take years for refugees to return at the current rate and cannot ignore that militia leaders controlling refugee movements reside in Indonesia with impunity. Conditions throughout Indonesia, especially West Papua, Aceh, and Maluku, have not improved either over the past year; human rights violations have arguably increased.
Humanitarian workers and human rights defenders continue to be the targets of military abuse. Over 1,200 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Aceh since January 2001. On August 9, in Julok, East Aceh, uniformed men lined up local villagers and shot to death at least 30 people, wounding another nine. Eyewitnesses say the killers were military troops. Murder, torture, and kidnappings by police are part of the "Sweeping and Clampdown Operation" that began in mid-June in the Wasior subdistrict of Manokwari, West Papua. The arrest and detention of political activists are also on the rise. The Indonesian government and security forces have arrested dozens of activists for distributing leaflets, organizing demonstrations and exercising their right to free speech.
Our influence and leverage in promoting human rights and democracy in Indonesia and East Timor will be compromised if shortcomings in Indonesia’s performances are not publicly addressed and acted upon at the upcoming CGI conference. We therefore request a detailed outline of the financial and other consequences Indonesia has already faced for its indisputable failure to live up to the very reasonable conditions set out in UNSCR 1319. We also encourage you in the strongest terms possible to articulate at this year’s CGI conference that non-humanitarian financial assistance pledged will be linked to the following. · Concrete improvements in human rights conditions in Indonesia, particularly complete cessation of the targeting of human rights and humanitarian workers by security forces in Aceh and West Papua and the release of political prisoners; · A just and humane resolution of the East Timorese refugee crisis in West Timor demonstrated initially through the verifiable disarmament of militia and arrest of militia leaders; · Qualitative and quantitative improvements in accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Indonesian military and civilian personnel in East Timor. This must include appropriate sentences for the murderers of the UNHCR workers, and Indonesian government and military cooperation with the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor.
We thank you for your serious consideration of our request and look forward to your reply.
Cynthia A. McKinney Member of Congress
Christopher H. Smith Member of Congress
Eni F.H. Faleomavaega Member of Congress
Lloyd Doggett Member of Congress
Tammy Baldwin Member of Congress
Barney Frank Member of Congress
Dennis J. Kucinich Member of Congress
Patrick J. Kennedy Member of Congress
cc: Honorable James D. Wolfensohn, President, World Bank Group Honorable Paul H. O’Neill, Secretary of Treasury Honorable Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State Honorable Ralph L. Boyce, U.S. Ambassador to the Indonesia Honorable Elliott Abrams, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of the Office for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations Honorable Torkel Patterson, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Asia Affairs Honorable James Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State, Democracy, Labor and Human Rights Honorable Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary of State, Democracy, Labor, and Human Rights
Karen Orenstein Washington Coordinator East Timor Action Network/U.S. PO Box 15774 Washington, DC 20003-0774 202-544-6911 (tel.), 202-544-6118 (fax) www.etan.org
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