For Immediate Release
July 19, 2002
Contact: John M. Miller, 718-5967668; mobile: 917-690-4391, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by the East Timor Action Network on Restoration of IMET
Military Training by Senate Appropriations Committee
"Yesterday's action by the Senate Appropriations Committee
restoring full International Military Education and Training (IMET) for
Indonesia sets back the pursuit of justice for East Timor, as well as
military reform and democracy in Indonesia. It gives a green light for the
Indonesian military (TNI) to continue its escalating use of brutal tactics
against civilians, especially in Aceh and West Papua.
"The Indonesian military undoubtedly will take the
restoration of prestigious U.S. military training as an endorsement of
business as usual and as U.S. support for continued abuse of human rights.
The Senators who voted to restore full IMET have effectively given U.S.
backing to continued gross violations of human rights.
"In the name of the 'war on terrorism,' the Senate committee will
only promote the continued terrorization of the Indonesian people by its
"We strongly urge the House of Representatives and the full Senate
to restore the IMET ban before the final version of the foreign operations
appropriations legislation passes.
"We thank Senator Leahy and others on the committee who supported
the continued restriction of IMET."
On July 19, 2002, the Senate Committee on Appropriations accepted an
amendment by Senators Inouye (D-HI) and Stevens (R-AK) to lift
restrictions on International Military Education and Training (IMET) for
Indonesia in the Fiscal Year 2003 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.
Before becoming law, the legislation must pass the full Senate, as well as
the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee and the full House.
Then any differences between the two bills must be reconciled before the
legislation is sent to the President.
Congress first voted to restrict IMET for Indonesia, which brings
foreign military officers to the U.S. for training, in response to the
November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz massacre of more than 270 civilians in East
Timor. All military ties were severed in September 1999 as the Indonesian
military and its militia proxies razed East Timor following its
pro-independence vote. Congress first passed the "Leahy
conditions" in late 1999 and strengthened them last November. The
FY00 through FY02 foreign operations appropriations laws required
president to certify that Indonesia had met these conditions before
regular IMET and Foreign Military Finance (FMF) weapons sales were
restored for Indonesia. Last year, Congress allowed civilians from
Indonesia's defense ministry to participate in the Expanded IMET program,
which involves course work in such areas as civilian control of the
military and human rights. The current Senate bill continues to restrict
FMF for Indonesia and places conditions on its restoration.
Leahy's opening statement to Appropriations Committee, July 18, 2002
Leahy Conditions on Restrictions of Military
Assistance for Indonesia Have Not Been Met
NGOs Urge Congress to Renew Restrictions on
Military Training and Weapons Sales to Indonesia
see also Legislative Action and
U.S.-Indonesia Military Ties