|Subject: AI EXTRA 17/99 INDONESIA Risk of torture or
Date: 09 Feb 99 09:17:33 -0500
From: UA E-Mail Incoming <UA%AI-UK@amnesty.org.uk>
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PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/07/99 9 February 1999
EXTRA 17/99 Risk of torture or ill-treatment / Possible "disappearance" / extra-judicial execution
Syukri (50) detained Fadli (40) detained Ali Yusuf (45) detained Unknown under military guard Walidin Usman (25) possibly "disappeared" Jailani Ibrahim (16) possibly "disappeared" Muhammad R. (29) possibly "disappeared" Zamzami (23) possibly "disappeared"
Amnesty International is concerned at the rising level of human rights violations in Aceh province after at least 21 people were killed in Matang Ulim village in East Aceh on 3 February 1999 when soldiers opened fire on people leaving a meeting. Amnesty International has fears for the safety of 3 people detained by the military in connection with the incident (another 53 have apparently already been released), one other who is under military guard in hospital and four people who are possibly "disappeared" following the shootings. All are at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
According to reports, soldiers arriving in trucks outside a military base (Koramil) at Idi Cut fired at those making their way home from the meeting. The military asserts the meeting was about Aceh Merdeka,[Free Aceh] a separatist movement.
Syukri and Fadli are now in custody in Langsa Military Prison. Ali Yusuf, who was shot in the leg, is also in military custody. A fourth man, shot as he passed by on his motorcycle, is under military guard at Malahayati Hospital in Medan. None has been allowed to see an independent legal counsel or their families.
>From 1990 to August 1998, Aceh was given Daerah Operasi Militer (DOM), Area of Military Operation status. This enabled the government to justify activities labelled as "counter-insurgency operations", apparently to quell revolt. This often resulted in serious human rights violations.
Since President Habibie came to power in May 1998, some improvements have occurred in the human rights situation in Aceh. In August 1998, the Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces, General Wiranto, visited the region and apologized for violations committed by the Armed Forces during military counter-insurgency activities. He also announced the withdrawal of combat troops - although not regular, territorial troops - from the area. Additionally, DOM status was lifted and several investigations into past human rights violations initiated, including a visit by a parliamentary fact-finding team to Aceh in July 1998.
Later that month, however, troop withdrawals were suspended after disturbances took place in Lhokseumawe during the withdrawal of special forces command (KOPASSUS) troops.
Over the last few months violence has returned to Aceh. On 29 December, seven members of the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) were captured and killed in Lhok Nibong, East Aceh. Subsequent military operations, known as Satgas Wibawa 99, to locate the captured soldiers and arrest those responsible for the deaths, have already resulted in the death of at least 11 civilians.
While it is unclear who was responsible for the deaths of the soldiers, Amnesty International is concerned that the event has been used to justify human rights violations in Aceh and that earlier efforts to improve the human rights situation in Aceh is being undermined.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters in English or Indonesian or your own language:
- urging the authorities to ensure that all those detained be given immediate, on-going and regular access to independent legal advice and to their families;
- asking for assurances that they are not at risk of torture or ill-treatment;
- urging the government to clarify the number of individuals taken into custody and any charges brought against them;
- urging the authorities to clarify the whereabouts of Walidin Usman, Jailani Ibrahim, Muhammad R. and Zamzami;
- requesting the authorities to undertake an immediate and impartial investigation into the incident and to ensure that fully qualified investigators, including forensic experts are given access to investigate the shootings.
APPEALS TO: (Time difference = GMT + 7 hrs / BST + 6 hrs)
Military Commander Region I/bukit Barisan (covers North & West Sumatra and Aceh)
Major General Ismet Juhairi Chaniago [Salutation:Dear Major General] Pangdam I/Bukit Barisan Markas Besar KODAM I Medan, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia Telegrams: Major General Chaniago, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: His Excellency Mr Rahardjo Jamtomo, Embassy of Indonesia, 38 Grosvenor Square, London W1X 9AD. Fax: 0171 491 4993
AND, IF POSSIBLE, TO THE FOLLOWING:
Minister of Defence And Security
Gen. Wiranto Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 13-14 Jakarta 10110, Indonesia Faxes: + 62 21 381 4535
President Jusuf Habibie Presiden RI Istana Negara Jl. Veteran, Jakarta Pusat Indonesia Faxes: + 62 21 526 8726 or 62 21 380 5511 or 62 21 345 7782 Telexes: 44283 BIGRA IA / 44469 DEPLU IA
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after 9 March 1999.
If you have any queries about this Urgent Action or about + + the UA scheme in general, please contact: + + Ray Mitchell / Becky Hess + + Amnesty International UK Section + + 99 - 119 Rosebery Avenue + + London EC1R 4RE email: firstname.lastname@example.org