Indicted Indonesian General Leads Joint Military Exercise
April 26, 2007 - The East Timor
and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) today condemned the
participation of Indonesian Major General Noer Muis in a joint
U.S.-Indonesia military exercise this week. General Muis has been
indicted for crimes against humanity in East Timor.
Photos of the general with U.S.
Army, Pacific commander Lt. General John M Brown III are featured on
U.S. Army, Pacific website where Muis is described as
co-director of a “command post” exercise, Garuda Shield, now taking
place in West Java. It is scheduled to run from April 16-27. [April
30 update: Several photos of General Muis have been removed from
the U.S. Army, Pacific website. The one on the left below remains,
but the caption with it has been altered to remove the General's
name. The original caption is below.]
“General Muis belongs in a
courtroom, not a joint U.S.-Indonesia command center. The
Bush administration has repeatedly stated that it supports
accountability for the horrendous crimes committed in East Timor in
1999. Working with an accused mastermind of those crimes is a funny
way to show it,” said John M. Miller, ETAN’s National Coordinator.
“That the U.S. Army should so
proudly feature General Muis on its website demonstrates the
meaninglessness of administration pledges to keep Indonesian
officers accused of human rights crimes from U.S. training programs
and other forms of direct cooperation through so-called human rights
vetting,” said Miller.
“This is further evidence that
the administration's short-sighted rush to expand assistance to an
unaccountable Indonesian military sacrifices human rights,” he
General John M Brown III, U.S. Army, Pacific commanding
general speaks to U.S. Maj. Anthony DeRose, while
Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Army Division (TNI-AD) Maj.
Gen. M. Noer Muis looks on. U.S. Army, Pacific photo.
Maj. Gen. M. Noer Muis, commander, 1st Infantry Division,
Kopstrad, and U,S, Army Maj. General
Stephen Tom, U.S. Army, Pacific, deputy commanding general
shake hands at the opening ceremony of Garuda Shield 07.
U.S. Army, Pacific photo.
tried and convicted for
crimes against humanity by Indonesia’s Ad Hoc Human Rights Court in
2003 for his role in brutal attacks on East Timor’s Dili Diocese,
East Timorese Bishop Belo's house and the Suai Church massacre in
September 1999. His conviction and sentence of five years were
overturned on appeal in that widely discredited process, in
which all but one conviction was overturned.
|General Muis with militia
leader Eurico Guterres at Indonesia Ad Hoc Human Rights
Court, January 15, 2003. Photo TEMPO/ Lourentius EP.
A colonel at the time, Colonel
Muis (variously spelled Nur Muis and Noer Moeis) became local
military commander in East Timor two weeks prior to the August 30,
1999 independence referendum. In that capacity, he bears major
responsibility for the atrocities committed by his troops and their
militia proxies. Just before the referendum results were announced,
he described contingency plans to evacuate up to a quarter-million
East Timorese from their homeland, a plan that was soon forcibly
On February 24, 2003, Muis was
with other senior officers by the UN-backed serious crimes
process in East Timor. The indictment states that Muis “failed to
take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the crimes being
committed by his subordinates and he failed to take necessary and
reasonable measures to punish perpetrators of those crimes,” despite
being “repeatedly informed” of those crimes. At least 1400 people
died, hundreds of thousands were forcibly displaced, and most of
East Timor’s infrastructure was destroyed as the Indonesian military
punished East Timor for its pro-independence vote.
Muis is currently commander of the 1st Infantry
Division of the Army Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad).
Additional information about
Muis’s role in 1999 can be found in the
Masters of Terror database.
ETAN was formed in 1991. The
U.S.-based organization advocates for democracy, justice and human
rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia. For more information see
ETAN's web site:
in Portuguese courtesy of
Timor Online Blog
General John M Brown III, U.S. Army, Pacific commanding general
talks to Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Army Division Maj. Chris K.
Tehuteru, 328th Infantry Battalion, Cilodong, West Java, Republic of
Indonesia, TNI-AD Capt. Mike Asmi, 321st Infantry Battalion, West
Java, Republic of Indonesia and U.S. Maj. Wayne Brewster,
Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 25th Stryker
Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, Sunday during exercise
Garuda Shield 07.
Brown visited the Kostrad, home of the TNI-AD’s 1st Infantry
Division in Cilodong, West Java, Republic of Indonesia, Sunday to
observe exercise Garuda Shield 07.
During his time at the exercise site, he spoke with U.S. and TNI-AD
Soldiers and received briefings from Col Jon Lee, U.S. exercise
co-director and Maj. Gen. M. Noer Muis, TNI-AD exercise co-director.
U.S. Soldiers are in Indonesia to participate in exercise Garuda
Shield 07. The goals of the Command Post Exercise, which will run
until April 27, are to improve capabilities in Peace Support
Operations and Civil Military Operations.