As Secretary of State Visits Jakarta, Rights Group Urges U.S.
Policy on Indonesia Promoting Justice and Rights, Not Military Might
For Immediate Release
Contact: John M. Miller (718) 596-7668; (917) 690-4391 (cell)
Karen Orenstein (202) 544-6911
March 13 - The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
(ETAN) today urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to support an
Indonesia policy that genuinely promotes justice, peace and human
"A forward-looking policy toward Indonesia would make clear that
democracy requires more than fair elections. Secretary Rice should
change her stance on Indonesia’s security forces to make genuine
accountability and real reform prerequisites for military
assistance," said Karen Orenstein, National Coordinator of ETAN.
"The Bush administration’s proposal for a greater than
in military aid to Indonesia for 2007 reveals the State Department’s
so-called ‘carefully calibrated’ approach toward aiding the
Indonesian military to be nothing more than hollow rhetoric,” said
Orenstein. “This unwarranted gift will only set back reform."
shakes hands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono, March 14, 2006. © AP/WWP
restrictions on U.S. military assistance to Indonesia late last
year, Secretary Rice abandoned the best available leverage to press
for genuine reform," continued Orenstein. "If Secretary Rice is
unwilling to withdraw the waiver, she should describe clear criteria
to be met before the U.S. provides any foreign military financing
and lethal equipment. Otherwise, the corrupt Indonesian military
will correctly perceive any U.S. assistance as an endorsement of
"Such benchmarks should include Indonesia's acceptance of the UN
Commission of Experts recommendation that it cooperate with
international efforts to prosecute senior figures for massive human
rights violations in East Timor. A pledge to broadly circulate and
discuss the findings of the report of the
East Timor Commission
for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation should be another
marker," said John M. Miller, National Coordinator of ETAN. "Such a
call would have added credibility if the U.S. government made a
"West Papua has been long-neglected by the international
community. Secretary Rice should use her visit to highlight ongoing
human rights violations and question the military build-up there.
She should press Jakarta to heed calls from West Papua for
demilitarization and a fair share of the income from its resources,
and demand that Indonesia fully open West Papua to the outside
world," said Orenstein.
“Secretary Rice should additionally investigate and take
responsibility for the alleged poor rights record of
Detachment 88, the anti-terrorism police unit created and funded
by the U.S. government,” stated Orenstein.
Last November, the
Department of State issued a waiver removing
all remaining congressional restrictions on U.S. military assistance
to Indonesia. Congress had imposed various restrictions on military
assistance for Indonesia since 1992.
The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation called on
countries to make military assistance to Indonesia "totally
conditional on progress towards full democratisation, the
subordination of the military to the rule of law and civilian
government, and strict adherence with international human rights..."
ETAN advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for East
Timor and Indonesia. ETAN calls for an international tribunal to
prosecute crimes against humanity committed in East Timor from 1975
to 1999 and for continued restrictions on U.S. military assistance
to Indonesia until there is genuine reform of its security forces.
For additional background, see www.etan.org.
Human Rights First:
Secretary Rice Should Raise Human Rights in Talks with Indonesian
U.S.-Indonesia Military Assistance page