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Cablegate: Ambassador Reviews Key Human Rights Issues In

VZCZCXRO1677
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1926/01 1940933
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130933Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5440
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0907
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY PRIORITY 3363
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0594
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 1590
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001926

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ID
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR REVIEWS KEY HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN
MEETING WITH UN OHCHR CHIEF

REF: A. JAKARTA 01647

B. JAKARTA 01785

JAKARTA 00001926 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Summary: On July 11, Ambassador Hume met with
visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour.
The meeting was wide-ranging and candid, focusing on key
human rights issues facing Indonesia. Both the Ambassador
and Arbour agreed that Indonesia generally has made strides
in protecting human rights, although the Indonesian security
forces needed to make further progress. End Summary.

2. (U) Ambassador Hume met July 11 with UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights Louise Arbour, who was visiting Indonesia
July 9-12 at the invitation of the Indonesian government. On
July 10 in Bali, Arbour opened the 14th Annual Workshop on
the Framework on Regional Cooperation for the Promotion and
Protection of Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region. She
used that meeting to energize participants from the ten ASEAN
countries to work toward agreement on a regional human rights
declaration and framework mechanism. Arbour also held
meetings in Jakarta on July 11 with the Department of Foreign
Affairs, human rights groups, and UN agencies. She visited
Aceh on July 12, returning to Jakarta to meet with President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on July 13. Arbour's visit follows
the recent assessment trip of the Special Representative of
the Secretary General on the Situation of Human Rights
Defenders Hina Jilani to Indonesia from June 5-12, 2007 (Ref
A).

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM
-----------------

3. (SBU) The Ambassador and High Commissioner shared
cautious optimism about the state of human rights in
Indonesia. Arbour noted with pleasure the emergence of a new
generation of GOI leaders who are more open to discussing
past and present domestic abuses compared with past leaders.
She believed that this development was supported by the
presence of sophisticated, outspoken human rights activists
and organizations that operate, largely unimpeded, throughout
the country. She also mentioned a lively mass media that was
generally permitted to report on sensitive human rights
issues. In Arbour's view, the presence of such conditions
served as a strong indicator of a fertile environment for
continued progress. Cultivating and empowering the forces of
change already present in the country could serve as the most
productive way for the UN and USG to promote further
improvements, she advised.

4. (SBU) On the international scene, Arbour has received
positive signals from the GOI on its increased willingness to
play a leadership role at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
She has encouraged the GOI to this end, while also noting
that the GOI should use its influence in the Organization of
the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement. Arbour
noted that while the GOI seemed keen to engage bilaterally on
economic and social human rights issues, she was disappointed
in its inability to press effectively the Government of
Malaysia to renegotiate the Memorandum of Understanding on
Migrant Workers, signed in May 2006, meant to provide
enhanced protections to Indonesian workers in Malaysia.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER
--------------------

5. (SBU) Ambassador Hume and Arbour agreed that the GOI's
critical shortcoming lies in its failure to fully implement
human rights protections and hold violators accountable for
past abuses. Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights
(Komnas HAM), for example, has historically excelled at
conducting comprehensive investigations into past abuses, but
momentum falters once cases reach the Attorney General's
Office for prosecution, indicating a lack of political will.
The failure to produce accountability for past abuses by the
Commission of Truth and Friendship Indonesia-Timor Leste and
the Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal for East Timor were cited by
Arbour as among the most prominent examples of missed
opportunities.

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
--------------------

6. (SBU) Ambassador Hume agreed with Arbour's
characterization that the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) are
the "elephant in the room" when it comes to resolving the
country's most critical human rights challenges. Ambassador

JAKARTA 00001926 002.2 OF 002


Hume told Arbour that promoting human rights reform among the
security forces, both the military and police, was among his
highest priorities in his new position. He added that the
U.S.-Indonesia military relationship would only grow stronger
if the GOI security sector can continue to demonstrate human
rights progress and accountability. Arbour enthusiastically
welcomed this statement, indicating that the USG was one of
the few actors in a position to make a positive impact in
this area. She said that curtailing the military,s business
activities and encouraging greater civilian control of the
military were particularly pressing issues.

7. (SBU) The Ambassador emphasized the progress made in
civil-military relations in recent years, such as the
decrease in high-level political appointments for active and
retired military personnel and the military's self-imposed
prohibition on active personnel seeking elected office.
Referring to the recent Human Rights Watch report on abuses
in the Papua Highlands, Arbour noted that the incidents cited
in the report, while requiring further investigation and
possible prosecution, were allegedly perpetrated primarily by
the police rather than the military, possibly indicating a
shift away from the more systemic TNI abuses witnessed in the
past. On the issue of the TNI's limited budget, which
necessitates a reliance on military business ventures, the
Ambassador noted that U.S. assistance was helping the TNI
overcome its structural budgetary obstacles.

8. (SBU) Arbour and Ambassador Hume discussed the prospect
of expanded Indonesian participation in UN peacekeeping
missions. Arbour mentioned Darfur as a possible mission for
Indonesian troops (Ref B). Both agreed that unit and
individual vetting for past human rights abuses prior to
deployment on UN peacekeeping missions could, in time, serve
as an additional mechanism for encouraging security sector
adherence to recognized human rights standards and practices.
HUME

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