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On August 26, U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel announced that the U.S. would go forward with the sale of the eight Apache helicopter and Indonesia said that no conditions were attached to their use. ETAN and WPAT still oppose this sale and urge others to do so. See ETAN and WPAT statement here.


If your organization would like to join this statement e-mail us

           
 Apache helicopter 
Apache helicopter

Groups Urge U.S. Not to Sell Attack Helicopters to Indonesia

Contact: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668; mobile: +1-917-690-4391, john@etan.org

Ed McWilliams, +1-575-648-2078, edmcw@msn.com

March 30, 2012 - More than ninety organizations today urged the U.S. government and Congress not to provide deadly attack helicopters to Indonesia. Indonesia has announced that it plans to buy eight AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the United States.

The groups warned that the helicopters will escalate conflicts in Indonesia, especially in the rebellious region of West Papua: "Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians."

The Indonesian military (TNI) regularly conducts "sweep operations," involving attacks on villages where innocent villagers are forced from their homes. The groups write that "Papuan civilians either flee the attacks to neighboring villages or into the surrounding forests where many die or face starvation, cut off from access to their gardens, shelter, and medical care." Sweep operations are now underway in the Central Highlands region of West Papua.
 

Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians, who have been the target of deadly TNI assaults for many years.


The letter was organized by the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and the West Papua Advocacy Team and signed by human rights, religious, indigenous rights, disarmament and other organizations based in 14 countries.

Signers include: Faith-based Network on West Papua, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Peace Action, International Lawyers for West Papua, Land Is Life, KontrS (Indonesia), and Pax Christi Australia. A complete list of signers can be found here: http://www.etan.org/news/2012/03helicop.htm 

The AH-64 is designed for air to ground attack. It can operate day or night and is armed with high caliber chain guns and equipped to fire missiles.

ETAN was formed in 1991. It celebrated its 20th anniversary this December 10, advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia. See ETAN's web site: http://www.etan.org   

see also

Text of Letter

PDF of letter

As organizations concerned about human rights in Indonesia and West Papua, we are writing to urge the U.S. government and Congress not to allow the sale of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the Indonesian military (TNI). Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians, who have been the target of deadly TNI assaults for many years.

The sale of this weapons system to the TNI -- notwithstanding its long record of disregard for civilian casualties, corruption, human rights violations and impunity in East Timor, Aceh and elsewhere -- would only increase the suffering of the Papuan population.

Indonesia's Deputy Minister of Defense Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin told the Antara news agency, that  Indonesia intends to buy eight AH-64 Apache helicopter from the United States.  

The heavily-armed AH-64 is a highly lethal weapon which can be used to escalate conflict within Indonesia and in West Papua. These aircraft will substantially augment the TNI's capacity to prosecute its "sweep operations" in West Papua and thereby, almost certainly lead to increased suffering among the  civilian populations long victimized by such operations.

TNI "sweep operations," including several now underway in the Central Highlands region of West Papua, involve attacks on villages. Homes are destroyed, along with churches and public buildings. These assaults, purportedly to eliminate the poorly armed Papuan armed resistance, force innocent villagers from their homes. Papuan civilians either flee the attacks to neighboring villages or into the surrounding forests where many die or face starvation, cut off from access to their gardens, shelter, and medical care.

The AH-64 is designed for air to ground attack. It can operate day or night and is armed with high caliber chain guns . It is also equipped to fire missiles.

Congress must be notified of major weapons sales. We urge Congress to oppose the sale of these helicopters.

Signed,

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
West Papua Advocacy Team

Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
Asian Human Rights Commission
Australia East Timor Friendship Association of South Australia Inc.
Australia West Papua Association - Melbourne
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Australians for a Free East Timor
Baptist Church, Papua, Indonesia
Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Center For Creative Activities, Philadelphia
Columbus Campaign for Arms Control
ETAN-Madison
East Timor Action Network / Portland
East Timor National Victims "74-99" Association
East Timor Religious Outreach
Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Faith-based Network on West Papua (FBN)
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Foreign Policy In Focus
Foundation Pro Papua, The Netherlands
Franciscans International
Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Green Delaware
Health Alliance International
Hunter East Timor Sisters, Australia
Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Auckland New Zealand
Hunter East Timor Sisters, Australia
Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Ann Arbor, MI

International Federation for East Timor
International Labor Rights Forum
International Lawyers for West Papua
International Platform of Jurists for East Timor

Japan East Timor Coalition
Jews Against Genocide, USA
Justice for Palestine Matters, Australia
KontrS, Indonesia
Koalisi Anti Utang, Indonesia
Land Is Life
La'o Hamutuk - Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis
LEPOCO Peace Center
Massachusetts Peace Actionon
Metta Center for Nonviolence
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre, Australia
Moana Nui Action Alliance
Mornington Branch of the Australian Greens Victoria
Neighbors for Peace, Chicago
Nicaragua Center for Community Action

Nonviolence International
Office of the Americas

Ohio Valley PEACE
Pace e Bene Australia
Pantau Foundation Jakarta
Partij voor de Liefde, The Netherlands
Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand
Pax Christi Australia
Pax Christi Australia (NSW)
Pax Christi Metro New York
Pax Christi New Orleans
Pax Christi Victoria ( International Christian Peace Movement)
Peace Action
Peace Action of Washington State
Peace House, Ashland, OR
Peace Island Foundation, Boston, MA
Peace Movement Aotearoa
Philippine Workers Support Committee

Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
Socialist Party of the Netherlands
Stg. Timor Lorosae Solidarity (TLS), The Netherlands
Stichting Akar, The Netherlands
Swedish East Timor Committee
Swedish Free Papua Association

TAPOL
Urban Poor Consortium (UPC), Indonesia
Vereniging Papuavrouwen in Nederland – the Netherlands
Veterans for Peace NYC Chapter 34
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Volunteers for International Solidarity
War Resisters League
War Resisters League, Chicago Chapter
War Resisters League, Portland
WarIsACrime.org
Watch Indonesia, Germany
WESPAC Foundation
West Papua Action Network, USA
West Papua Netzwerk, Germany
West Papua Solidarity Wellington
Western New York Peace Center

Wheaton Franciscan Sisters
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Madison WI

Added signers

Baltimore Nonviolence Center
Byak Regional People's Parliament ( Biak,West Papua)
Puget Sound Nuclear Weapons Free Zone
Quaker Peace & Service Aotearoa New Zealand
Rogue Valley Peace Veterans


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