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Detained Foreigners in Aceh

PRESS RELEASE
Issued by the Indonesian Embassy

Detained Foreigners in Aceh

(Response to the IHRC press release of 7 October 2002 – Scoop media)


The detention of Ms Lesley McCulloch (UK citizen) and Ms Joy-Lee Sadler (US citizen) in Aceh is based on the charge of abusing their tourist visas and alleged activities related to the separatist movement in the province.

The Indonesian police arrested the pair during routine checks in South Aceh on 11 September 2002.

Ms Lesley McCulloch’s confession that they had to use tourist visas to enter Aceh because the Indonesian representatives in Australia turned down their request to obtain an appropriate visa to conduct research in Aceh is incorrect.

The Indonesian Embassy in Canberra has thoroughly investigated her statement and found that no such request had been submitted to the Indonesian Embassy or Indonesian Consulates in Australia. Despite providing untrue information, Ms.

Lesley McCulloch and Ms Joy-Lee Sadler through their lawyer submitted further false information, stating that they were actually tourists and planned to visit Banyak Island in Aceh.

Ms McCulloch is known in Australia as an authority on the Aceh issue and the documents and photographs she was carrying at the time of the pairs arrest show that their visit to Aceh was outside the scope of tourism.

Based on this clarification, it is clear that the detention of Ms McCulloch and Ms Joy-Lee Sadler is caused by their violation of Indonesian immigration law. It is even worse since the violation is related to suspected involvement in separatist activities.

11 October 2002

Information and Cultural Section
P.O. Box 3545, Glen Road, Kelburn
W E L L I N G T O N
TELP. : (04) 4758697/698/699 FAX. : (04) 4759 374
No : 705/04/X/02

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