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URGENT ALERT: Indonesia Military hampering tsunami aid effort, abusing survivors

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IHRC urges all campaigners to immediately contact their local Indonesian embassy and demand that martial law be suspended in Aceh and that aid be immediately distributed to all affected areas and people without discrimination.
URGENT ALERT: Indonesia Military hampering tsunami aid effort, abusing survivors




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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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6 January 2005

URGENT ALERT: Indonesia Military hampering tsunami aid effort, abusing survivors

The Indonesian military is hampering efforts to distribute aid to tsunami survivors in the Aceh province, denying assistance and even abusing some survivors, a regional human rights organization is alleging.

The Bangkok-based Asia Forum listed a host of abuses and incompetence in managing aid distribution, and demanded that the military allow free flow of food, water and medical assistance in the devastated region at the northern end of the island of Sumatra.

The group have alleged that soldiers are denying aid to survivors who are unable to present all of the proper identification documents, in spite of massive destruction to their homes and possessions. It has also said that local non-governmental organizations are being prevented from distributing their own aid, while military-held food, water, clothing and medicines have been stockpiled in airports without efficient delivery.

In one case that Asia Forum said it had verified, instant noodles from relief shipments were being sold at inflated prices to victims at the Banda Aceh provincial capital airport.

\"Women and children who are most vulnerable to diseases are lined up outside the only running hospital, operated by the military, and are not getting attention they desperately need for medical relief,\" the organization said in a public statement.

Asia Forum has also criticized the army for continuing to divert resources to its ongoing counterinsurgency campaign against the separatist guerrilla Free Aceh Movement (GAM), after rejecting the rebels\' Dec. 26 offer of a ceasefire.

Delays in distributing food, water and medicines are causing mounting deaths, the statement said.

IHRC urges all campaigners to immediately contact their local Indonesian embassy and demand that martial law be suspended in Aceh and that aid be immediately distributed to all affected areas and people without discrimination.

Mr. N.T. Dammen
Charge d\'affaires
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
38 Grosvenor Square
London
W1K 2HW

Tel. (020) 7499 7661
Fax. (020) 7491 4993


The contact details for other Indonesian embassies and consulates around the world can be found at http://www.indonesianembassy.org.uk/link_indo_embassy.html

Please also contact the foreign minister of your country and demand that they raise this issue with their Indonesian counterparts without delay.

Sample letters may be found below.



[Your Name]
[Your Address]



[Date]


Mr. N.T. Dammen
Charge d\'affaires
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
38 Grosvenor Square
London
W1K 2HW


Dear Mr. Dammen:

RE: Indonesian Military Abusing Tsunami Survivors


I am writing to express my outrage at the behaviour and actions of the Indonesian military in its treatment of survivors of the tsunami disaster in Aceh, as reported by a regional human rights organisation, Asia Forum.

Asia Forum have reported that soldiers have been denying aid to survivors who are unable to present all of the proper identification documents, in spite of massive destruction to their homes and possessions. It has also said that local non-governmental organizations have been prevented from distributing their own aid, while military-held food, water, clothing and medicines have been stockpiled in airports without efficient delivery. In one verified case, instant noodles from relief shipments were actually sold at inflated prices to victims at the Banda Aceh provincial capital airport.

I am also appalled to learn that despite the enormity of the disaster and the corresponding relief effort required, the army continues to divert resources to its ongoing counterinsurgency campaign against the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

The integrity of the Indonesian military has always been suspect but at a time when the whole world has united together in its efforts to minimise the suffering of the victims of the tsunami disaster, its behaviour shocks the conscience.

Delays in distributing food, water and medicines are causing mounting deaths. I demand you to abide by your international law obligations and allow aid to be immediately distributed to all affected areas and people without discrimination. I pray that the Indonesian government is not exploiting this catastrophe to accelerate its genocidal policy in Aceh.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,


___________________

[Your Name]



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[Your Name]
[Your Address]



[Date]


Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH


Dear Mr. Straw:

RE: Indonesian Military Abusing Tsunami Survivors


I am writing out of deep concern about the treatment of Indonesian survivors of the tsunami disaster by the Indonesian military.

A regional human rights NGO, Asia Forum, has reported that the Indonesian military is hampering efforts to distribute aid to tsunami survivors in Aceh province, denying assistance and even abusing some survivors.

Asia Forum has reported that soldiers have been denying aid to survivors who are unable to present all of the proper identification documents, in spite of massive destruction to their homes and possessions. It has also said that local non-governmental organizations have been prevented from distributing their own aid, while military-held food, water, clothing and medicines have been stockpiled in airports without efficient delivery. In one verified case, instant noodles from relief shipments were sold at inflated prices to victims at the Banda Aceh provincial capital airport.

Asia Forum has also criticized the army for continuing to divert resources to its ongoing counterinsurgency campaign against the separatist guerrilla Free Aceh Movement (GAM), after rejecting the rebels\' Dec. 26 offer of a ceasefire.

The integrity of the Indonesian military has always been suspect but at a time when the whole world has united together in its efforts to minimise the suffering of the victims of the tsunami disaster, its behaviour shocks the conscience.

Delays in distributing food, water and medicines are causing mounting deaths. It is high time that the British government use all its influence to demand that the Indonesian government abide by its international law obligations, particularly in this catastrophic time. I urge you to demand the Indonesian government to allow aid to be distributed to all affected areas and people without discrimination.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience,


Sincerely,


___________________

[Your Name]




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