Subject: Asian Forum: U.S. - Indonesia Military Ties: The Denying of the Human Rights P

PRESS RELEASE The U.S. - Indonesia Military Ties: The Denying of the Human Rights Policy

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) expresses its utmost disappointment regarding the latest military cooperation between the United States (US) and Indonesian government.

According to both Indonesia and international reports since the middle of May this year the US Congress has made decision agreed to provide US$ 8 million in aid to train Indonesian's police force. In addition, the US vice Minister of Defense, Dr. Paul D. Wolfowitz, had said that military reformation is very important and became condition for Indonesia to get success toward democracy. Similar statement also issued by the Indonesian Military (TNI) spokesman Maj. Gen. Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin who asked for understanding from the U.S. government on the Indonesian military while performing its tasks in the country's troubled regions.

In response to such military tie linked with human rights as defined relationship between the US and the Indonesian Government, may we mention Preamble from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It states, "Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law".

Forum Asia would like to remind all gross human rights violation, which has been committed by the Indonesian police and militaries so far still go unpunished. In East Timor case, the Indonesian government has fails to convince Republic Democratic Timor Leste to send its victim witness to testify in front of the human rights tribunal for the crimes against humanity in 1999 East Timor referendum. We consider impunity, which created by government to release all of the perpetrators merely because of procedural aspect--lack of enough evidence as the Indonesian government fails to guarantee security victim witness. In Aceh, Moluccas and West Papua which people are fighting either for their political rights or economic, social and cultural rights, hence the militaristic approach to solve the conflict is a denial of the human rights policy, a moral and political commitment to individual freedoms. The Indonesian regime has been using either the role of police or military for repressive purposes, both before and after Suharto's removal. Under the Megawati's reign, reports have showed that the police and military action has intensified in those conflict areas bringing the casualties reports of innocent civilian to a more alarming level.

Military and police force reformation never become elements of true a democracy in an authoritarian regime. We believe, finding a peaceful political solution and encouraging public involvement in public decision-making are the key elements of democratization, when involving issue of the social contract.

Forum Asia urges the US government impose strict condition to Indonesian government to guarantee such military aids is transparency and will not be abused in any way on its people. Without a genius monitoring mechanism, the more aid to military, the more human rights violation and political abuses increase. We therefore call upon the US and Indonesia government as a power-holder to actualize the stable state system, an international system by minimal violence and the peaceful settlement. The world and Forum Asia will continue to monitor the U.S. military aid will not be used against civilian.

June, 12, 2002

For further information contact Somchai Homlaor, Secretary General Forum Asia. Phone: 661 899 5476. Fax: 662 693 4939. Email:

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