ALERT UPDATE: Aceh Crisis, Indonesia

Islamic Human Rights Commission

ALERT UPDATE: Aceh Crisis, Indonesia

13th June 2003

Recent events have seen the continuation in the severity of the violence, ever since the fragile peace accord between the Indonesian government and Aceh\’s separatist movement broke down.

Since IHRC released its June 11 briefing \’Contemporary Background to Aceh conflict\’ (see, new developments demonstrate the escalation in hostilities and the continuation of human rights abuses towards the Aceh civilian populous.

Following 9/11 and the Bali bombing, the government has utilised the current climate of anti-Islamism as a pretext to pursue opposition groups. On the 18th May 2003, following the collapse of a five-month old ceasefire, the Indonesian army launched a new offensive aimed at asserting control of Aceh and neutralising armed opposition to Jakarta.

The 26 year conflict has cost 12,000 lives. In 2002 an estimated 1,300 were killed. The new offensive has added to that toll, with claims of human rights abuses levelled at the army. School burnings, summary killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, rapes and forced displacement of civilian populations have been alleged.

In addition to cases of extrajudicial killings and other massacres reported in the above briefing, IHRC highlights recent accusations of atrocities committed by the Indonesian Army over the last three days:

.Friday June 13: Indonesian Army forcible moves 1,000 civilians from their homes in the Juli village in the Bireuen district in order to bomb suspected rebel areas.
.Thursday June 12: Humanitarian workers claim to have found four corpses with gunshot wounds.
.Wednesday June 11: Indonesia\’s National Commission of Human Rights reports the possibility of another mass grave, this time in the Bireuen district, with fifty bodies possibly interned. In the Bireuen district, suspected army death squad murders religious teacher, Muhammad Daud, in front of his children and other pupils. The issue of death squads is a continuing IHRC concern (see above briefing).

The Indonesian Red Cross (IRC) has reported taking 151 bodies to hospitals and morgues since the army offensive began. However, IRC have been unable to verify their civilian constituent. Other reports place civilian deaths in excess of 400 fatalities. Earlier IHRC reported that the army had reportedly destroyed 280 schools. This destruction is now estimated to have reached 500 schools.

IHRC is greatly concerned at the use of British-supplied military equipment, including tanks and warplanes, in the Aceh offensive. This comes despite assurances given by the British government that exported military hardware would not be used in such above scenarios.

We urge our volunteers to write to the following (see below) demanding the immediate cessation to the Indonesian army offensive and all measures that affect the population\’s basic rights should be rescinded forthwith:

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

Megawati Soekarnoputri
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Presidencial Palace
Jakarta, Istana Negara

Fax: 62-21- 385.73.16

Hassan Wirayuda
Minister of foreign affairs
Department of Foreign Affairs
Jalan Pejambon No.6
Jakarta 10111

Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP
Foreign Secretary
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Fax No: 020 7270 3539

We recommend you mention the following points:

.International human rights observers be allowed unfettered access to investigate allegation of human rights abuses
.Legal proceedings be taken against high-ranking army officers for their role in human rights violations
.Repatriation of civilian populations back to their constituencies
.An immediate halt to school destruction

IHRC also recommends that you write to the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, and the Foreign Office Minister, Mike O\’Brien, demanding that:

.Their be an complete halt to British military arms sales to the Indonesian government
.Further raise the above points

Mike O\’ Brian
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street

To see IHRC press release, \’Concern as Indonesia interns Acehnese civilians as part of crackdown\’, please visit:

For more information please contact us:

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Tel: +44-20-8902-0888
Fax: +44-20-8902-0889

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