Subject: UN Rapp on Violence Against Women - Report on Indon and ET (Pt.4)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 12:31:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Sharon R.A. Scharfe" <>

... continued from Part 3 ...



E/CN.4/1999/68/Add.3 21 January 1999

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Fifty-fifth session Item 12 (a) of the provisional agenda


Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy

PART 4 ...


93. The designation of Aceh as a DOM was justified by allegations that there was resistance from those known as the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merkedka (GAM)) in 1989.

94. The Special Rapporteur has received reports of widespread atrocities in Aceh during counter-insurgency operations there in 1990-1991. The deportation of hundreds of Acehnese migrants from Malaysia in late March caused an international outcry, as some of those sent back were clearly refugees who had fled Aceh in the early 1990s and feared persecution. Counter-insurgency operations by the Indonesian army resulted in large-scale sexual violence. Large numbers of victims have come forward in the past three months and testified to the violence they endured. As Aceh is a Muslim province, there appears to be a lot of support in Jakarta for victims in Aceh. Findings of a team from the House of Representatives and the National Commission on Human Rights call for those who were responsible for the atrocities in Aceh to be brought to trial.

95. The Special Rapporteur notes that the Armed Forces (ABRI) Chief General Wiranto is still reluctant to look into the institutional involvement of ABRI in violations of human rights in the past, as he promised to do earlier. In August 1998, General Wiranto apologized to the people of Aceh for the abuses they had suffered and declared the DOM status revoked. In September 1998, the Jakarta Post newspaper reported that the 300 remaining combat troops had been withdrawn from Aceh province. It is reported that on 2 September 1998, as troops were leaving the city of Lhokseumawe, violence directed against them soon turned into a riot, in which almost 2,000 shops, government offices and other buildings were allegedly looted and set on fire. There were rumours that military elements themselves had sparked the riot to ensure their continued presence in Aceh.

96. Amnesty International remains concerned at reports that the violations are continuing, albeit at a reduced level. Amnesty International, London has stated that "despite taking a number of initiatives to improve human rights since coming to power in May, the Habibie Government is showing that, under pressure, it will resort to the same strong arm tactics to suppress dissent which characterized the Suharto era".

97. In August, a human rights team investigating reports of atrocities by the military in Aceh unearthed a mass grave in the province where it is reported that more than 150 victims could be buried. Amnesty International has alleged that at least 2,000 people were extrajudicially executed, disappeared or arbitrarily arrested and tortured at the height of the Indonesian military's counter-insurgency operations in Aceh between 1989 and 1993.

98. One of the testimonies the Special Rapporteur received was from F, who lives in Aceh. At 2 o'clock one morning about 23 soldiers came looking for her husband. They broke the door down, interrogated the children and searched the house. She told them that her husband had gone to his parents' house because they were ill. When the soldiers found that he was not there, they left. Around 3 a.m. three of the soldiers returned and asked the same question. They put out the oil lamp. When she ran toward her mother's house, they knocked her with a rifle butt. She was six months pregnant. They took turns hitting her and kicking her. Only one spoke Acehnese, the others spoke Bahasi Indonesia. Finally they pushed her into the kitchen area where there was a bench and, with her children in the adjacent room, they gang raped her, despite the fact that she was pregnant. The child she was bearing finds it difficult to breathe. She feels that the rape incident affected the foetus.


99. The Free Papua Movement Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM), an armed nationalist group, has been waging a low intensity guerrilla war against Indonesia to demand independence for the former Dutch colony of Western Guinea, which became Indonesian territory in 1963. Through a United Nations mediated settlement, the two States agreed on 15 August 1962 to a Dutch withdrawal, to be followed in 1969 by a process of self-determination by the people of Irian Jaya. The Government of Indonesia submitted the 1969 Act of Free Choice, not to all Papuans, but to eight representative councils, comprised of 1,926 representatives selected by the Indonesian authorities. The consultative assemblies voted unanimously to remain with Indonesia. The United Nations recognized Indonesian sovereignty there in 1969. / Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy report, Concerning military Violence against Women in Irian Jaya and the Economic policies of the Indonesian State, October 1998./

100. Since 1969 there has been a military presence in Irian Jaya. The reason given by certain commentators is that it is to protect Indonesian economic interests in the area. In the 1970s Freeport Indonesia Inc. began operation in Irian Jaya, the location of the world's largest open-pit gold mine. There are reports, of widespread human rights violations by the military, which reached a peak in 1994. According to reports in February 1996 troops from all over Indonesia came to the Mapnduma area. It was alleged that the soldiers raped women there indiscriminately; girls as young as 12 were victims, as were mute, mentally retarded and pregnant women.

101. In July 1998, on the anniversary of the 1961 proclamation of independence, a series of pro-independence demonstrations were organized by the OPM. The Indonesian army apparently used heavy armed tactics to disrupt the demonstration. It is alleged that women were taken out to sea on Indonesian navy ships, where they were raped, sexually mutilated and thrown overboard. Women's corpses reportedly washed up on the Biak coast. Some of them showed signs of sexual mutilation; breasts had been removed. The Indonesian army claims that the corpses were related to the tidal waves that hit Papua New Guinea and they completely deny the incident. It is important that an independent fact-finding team look into the facts and come up with an impartial report.

102. Before May 1998 sexual violence by the Indonesian security forces in Irian Jaya appeared to be taken for granted, both by the authorities and the local population. The Special Rapporteur heard the following testimonies, among others.

103. A is from Jila village. She was raped by a soldier from the Indonesian military while she was working in the fields in 1987. She has a child as a result of the rape. She returned home and told her parents what had happened. They were extremely angry and went to the military post to demand justice. Her parents were beaten up by the soldiers. Her two brothers, one of whom is a priest and the other a village chief, went to the military post; they were also beaten up by the military. The perpetrator was moved out of the area. In 1988, A had a child as a result of the rape. She had been a virgin when she was raped and virginity has a high premium in this society. Her parents said that she should have protected herself better; the wrong was put on her. It is alleged that soldiers raped many women in that area. Women were afraid that, if they resisted, their families would be attacked. There are many children as a result of the rapes. / Case interview, Jakarta, November 1998./

104. A comes from the Freeport mine area. In 1990, 250 women organized themselves to protest against ABRI and the practices of Freeport. Freeport had expropriated a large amount of the local people's land, and the women demanded that it be returned. Freeport said that it had bought the land from the State. The Government denied that the women had any title to the land. The land which they had farmed was used to build houses for Freeport workers. Freeport is also accused of polluting the river causing fish and animals to die.

105. In October 1994, Indonesian soldiers from Paniai Battalion 752, stationed in the town of Timika, detained and tortured A and M, along with three male Amungme civilians. On 9 October 1994, in the middle of the night, A was arrested by six soldiers. She was not allowed to get dressed properly. There were many soldiers outside the house. She was forced into the back of a Freeport truck and taken to the district military command post. She was accused of having a relationship with Kelly Kwalik, the OPM leader, who was involved in the hostage-taking in Mapnduma. A stated: "I and another woman were taken to a room which was knee deep in water and human excrement. We were detained there for one month and two days. The room was full of flies. The guards would throw food into the room for us as they could not bear to enter due to the stench. We had to clean the food of excrement before we ate it. At times we thought we were going to die from the smell."

106. The two women were interrogated. M could not understand Bahasa Indonesian and therefore she did not reply. As a punishment, they put weights on her shoulders and behind her knees and made her do squats for five hours. She was 60 years old. When they took her back to the cell she was exhausted and nearly collapsed. Approximately a month after they were arrested, the Vice President of Indonesia came to the military post. Prior to his arrival, all the cells were cleaned up and the two women were given food. Two days later they were released. A was bed ridden for three months following her release. Once she had recovered, she went to the Bishop in Jayapura and told him about her arrest and detention. / Case interview, Jakarta, November 1998./

107. In September 1995, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas Ham) released its findings on human rights violations in the Timika area of Irian Jaya between October 1994 and June 1995. Its report confirmed that the Indonesian military operating in and around the Freeport project area were responsible for the killing of at least 16 civilians and the disappearance of at least 4 individuals living in the area. The Commission stated that the violations, "are directly connected to ... [the military] acting as protection for the mining business of PT Freeport Indonesia ... classified by the Government of Indonesia as a vital project". The Commission also cited military operations against the OPM as a reason for the violations. / National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia, "Results of monitoring and investigation of five incidents at Timika and one incident at Hoea, Irian Jaya, during the period October 1994-June 1995", September 1995, statement./

108. The Commission concluded at that time that "clear and identifiable human rights violations have occurred". The Commission called on the Government of Indonesia and the military to investigate these occurrences and prosecute those responsible. They also recommended that the victims and their families be compensated. To date, an investigation and prosecutions have been carried out with regard to only one of the confirmed incidents. No victims have received compensation, and human rights concerns in and around the project area persist.

109. The Special Rapporteur believes that a thorough and impartial investigation into the use of rape as a method of torture and intimidation by the military in Irian Jaya is imperative. According to information received, perpetrators have not been brought to trial, victims and their children have not been compensated and human rights abuses continue to occur even under the new regime.

110. Although the guidelines given to soldiers call for the protection of human rights and explicitly prohibit rape, they have not been effective in eliminating abuse by the military, and there is no indication that military personnel have been held accountable for violating human rights. / Directive of the Commander, Military Area VIII/Trikora, concerning human rights, Mal Irja ABRI Operational Command, Major General Dunidja, Instruction No. Skep/96/XII/1995, December 1995.



A. At the international level

111. Under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of Indonesia, on mutual agreement to cooperate in the development and implementation of comprehensive programmes for the promotion and protection of human rights in Indonesia, it . is planned, under the OHCHR technical cooperation programme, to have a programme officer based in Jakarta to monitor the human rights situation. The project includes gender sensitization training for all members of the criminal justice system, the police force and the military. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the memorandum should be implemented as soon as possible.

112. OHCHR should cooperate with the Government of Indonesia with respect to the realization of the national action plan for human rights, as well as the further promotion and protection of human rights in Indonesia and East Timor.

B. At the national level

113. The Government of Indonesia should ratify all the human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It should also review its reservation to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

114. The Government of Indonesia should acknowledge that human rights abuses took place in Indonesia before May 1998, especially in Aceh and Irian Jaya, as well as in East Timor. It must move beyond a "denial culture".

115. The Government of Indonesia should consider setting up a truth and reconciliation process for the victims of state violence before May 1998. The process should be open to victims of rape, victims of torture, mothers of children born of Indonesian soldiers and widows of individuals killed by Indonesian military action. The process should involve payment of compensation to the victim and prosecution of the perpetrators, if they are identifiable.

116. The Government of Indonesia should consider accelerating the process of law reform and introduce amendments to the Penal Code that reflect the latest international standards with regard to violence against women. The rape provisions should be amended, in collaboration with women's groups. The reformers should also consider introducing domestic violence legislation and sexual harassment legislation in keeping with international standards. The Government of Indonesia should ask for technical cooperation from the United Nations on this aspect of law reform.

117. The Government of Indonesia should take special measures to improve public confidence in the criminal justice system, especially with regard to violence against women. The police should operate independently and direct their efforts at community policing. The security forces should formulate a human rights policy and engage in extensive human rights training so as to meet the needs of an open, democratic society. The Attorney-General's department and the judiciary should also be gender sensitive and aware of the issues with regard to violence against women. Special programmes and grants should be established to transform radically the perceptions of the criminal justice system, so that it becomes sensitive to human rights violations. Again, technical cooperation assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights may be useful in planning an intensive programme on human rights for the criminal justice system. Other bilateral and multilateral donors might be approached to assist with this programme, which should be comprehensive and systematic.

118. The Government of Indonesia should inaugurate a national campaign against death threats, anonymous letters and the use of terror against members of civil society. This campaign should be endorsed at the highest level and perpetrators should be brought to trial. The criminal justice system should play a proactive role in this regard. There should be zero tolerance for acts of terror. The campaign should be conducted through the media, but in the final analysis, only investigation and imprisonment of the perpetrators will give the public confidence to come forward despite the threats. The impunity of those who engage in these acts must end and they must be punished.

119. Many victims of violence are suffering from mental health problems due to their experiences. A national health policy or programme to help these women victims of violence should be considered by the Ministry of Health. Trauma counselling is absolutely necessary in most of these cases.

120. The Government of Indonesia should consider repealing regulations that discriminate against the Chinese minority, many of which violate the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. Laws with regard to minorities should conform to international standards as set out in international documents.

121. The Government, in partnership with NGOs, should encourage a culture of human rights. The media, education policy and academic research should focus on human rights issues, including problems related to violence against women. All sectors of civil society should be involved in the exercise, including NGOs, women's organizations, trade unions, artists, film stars, individuals from the sporting world, etc. However, for such a policy to be effective, the boundaries between civil society and military responsibility should be strictly drawn. The military must withdraw from the civil/political realm.

122. The Government, in partnership with NGOs, should set up crisis centres for victims of violence against women. These centres should provide shelter, legal counselling, psychological counselling and vocational training for women's economic empowerment.

123. The Government of Indonesia should allow unrestricted access to all parts of the country by independent human rights monitors; in particular, to members of the National Commission on Human Rights, the Commission on Violence against Women and human rights organizations.

124. Without a Victims and Witness Protection Programme, victims are unwilling to come forward with their testimonies owing to the climate of harassment and intimidation of both victims of violence and human rights defenders and to fear of reprisals. There is a need to develop confidence-building measures for victims of violence.

C. Non-governmental organizations

125. Non-governmental organizations should work to sensitize women victims to the need to speak out in order to bring perpetrators to justice, and to coach women witnesses in legal procedures and in giving testimony in court.

126. Non-governmental organizations should take the lead in lobbying for the establishment of "one-stop crisis centres".

127. Non-governmental organizations should undertake research, collection of data and comparative analysis with regard to violence against women in Indonesia, in order to be able to devise a needs-based nationwide response to the problem.




Ms. Habibie First Lady, wife of the President

Mr. Ali Alatas Minister for Foreign Affairs

Mrs. Tuti Alawiyah Minister for the Role of Women

Mrs. Yustika S. Baharsyah Minister for Social Affairs

Dr. Romli Atmasamita Director-General for Law and Regulations, Ministry of Justice

Mr. Soehandjono Deputy Attorney-General Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence and Security

Lieutenant-General Rosemanhadi Chief of Police

Mr. Marzuki Darusman National Commission on Human Rights (KOMNAS HAM)

Dr. Saparinah Sadli National Commission on Violence against Women (KOMISI NASIONAL ANTI KEKERASAN TERILADAP PEREMPUAN)

Ms. Nana Soedjatmoko National Commission on Violence against Women

Ms. Kemala Motik Abdul Gafur Chairperson of Indonesian Development Women/Indonesia Crisis Centre

Mr. Ninok Leksono Deputy Editor-in-Chief, KOMPAS Daily Newspaper

Romo Sandyawan Sumardi Volunteer Team for Humanity

Dr. Karlina Leksono-Supelli (Tim Relawan)

Ms. Dwi Ria Latifia Director of Ria Latifia and Partners law office

Mr. Abdul Hakim G. Nusantara ELSAM (Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy)

Mr. Aderito de Jesus Soares ELSAM

Mr. Herman Awom Gereja Kristen Injili di Irian Jaya Unity of Indonesian New Brotherhood (Persatuan Saudara Baru Indonesia/Persabi)

Ms. Ita Nadia Kalyanamitra, Women's Communication and Information Centre

Ms. Nursyahbani Katjasungkana Indonesian Women's Association for Justice (APIK)

Indonesian Women's Corps (Korps Wanita Indonesia)

Religious leaders

Ms. Yenny Thamrin Chairperson of Yayasan Sosial Caritas (CARITAS Social Foundation)

Mr. Judi W. Leonardi Indonesian Chinese Social Association

Indonesian Women's Coalition for Justice and Democracy (KPIKI)

KOWANI, Kongres Wanita Indonesia

Dili, East Timor

Mr. Abilio Sores Governor of East Timor

Col. Tono Suratman Regional Military Commander Head of Regional Police

Mr. Clementino dos Reis Amaral National Commission on Human Rights Joint meeting of Women's organizations

Mr. Manuel Abrantes Director, Comissaõ Justitia et Pax (Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission)

Women's Forum, Yayasan HAK (Foundation for Law, Justice and Human Rights)

Mr. Frédéric Fournier Head of office, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Sr. Bernardita C. Guhit Secretariat for Justice and Peace of the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia.

GERTAK, Anti-violence against Women Organization


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