Islamic Human Rights Commission
URGENT ALERT: Concern at Indonesia’s inaction in Aceh
29th December 2004
IHRC is calling on all campaigners to contact the Indonesian authorities immediately about their sluggish response to the tsunami disaster that has devastated Aceh. The death toll currently stands at 40,000 with the UN estimating that this figure will almost definitely double.
IHRC reminds campaigners that the Indonesian authorities have been engaged in the severest of oppression of the population of Aceh who have been struggling for independence against military occupation for almost thirty years. Widespread human rights abuses by the Indonesian government in Aceh such as rape, murder, abduction, f0rced displacement and torture have been frequently reported by human rights agencies, giving rise to allegations of massacres and genocide.
The Indonesian authorities have prohibited the media from reporting from Aceh for over a year now as the abuses continue. In such circumstances, it is not very surprising that there was very little media coverage of the devastation caused by the tsunami in Aceh, despite the highest number of casualties being there. Contrast this with the vast coverage of Thailand where the number of dead victims is currently below 2000.
IHRC is extremely concerned that at Indonesia’s initial reluctance to allow into Aceh following the disaster. IHRC is worried that the Indonesian military, who have hitherto executed the citizens of Aceh in cold blood for years, may exploit the tragic situation to massacre even more people and include them in the tsunami death toll. This is compounded by the fact that Indonesia has acted very slowly and passively in providing relief and humanitarian aid to Aceh.
Please contact the Indonesian embassy to voice your complaint about this issue and remind the Indonesian government that the people of the world have not forgotten the people of Aceh and stand in solidarity with them against the repressive Indonesian regime.
Mr. N.T. Dammen
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
38 Grosvenor Square
London W1K 2HW
Tel. (020) 7499 7661
Fax. (020) 7491 4993