World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Human rights activists being 'swept out' of Aceh

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

News Service 043/00
AI INDEX: ASA 21/16/00
6 March 2000

Indonesia

Human rights activists being 'swept out' of Aceh

Human rights defenders are being forced into hiding and prevented from carrying out their work as the Indonesian security forces step up counter insurgency operations in the province of Aceh in the north of Sumatra.

"In a pattern seen in East Timor last year, anyone who reports on the human rights situation is being targetted and driven away to ensure that there are no witnesses to the excesses of the security forces," Amnesty International said.

Attacks against human rights activists in Aceh have increased in recent weeks and they have become the victims of unlawful killings, "disapearances", arbitrary detention, harassment and intimidation. Many have fled fearing that they will be tracked down by the security forces.

"It is now virtually impossible for human rights defenders to carry out their work in Aceh with any degree of security. These attacks on activists are creating an environment in which the security forces can torture and kill free from any kind of scrutiny and, ultimately, accountability," Amnesty International warned.

Attempts by activists to investigate the daily occurances of "disappearances" and killings that are taking place throughout the province are being blocked. Most recently, volunteers from the People's Crisis Centre (PCC) - a human rights monitoring organization staffed mainly by students - were prevented from investigating the shooting and subsequent "disappearance" of two farmers in North Aceh because of a virtual blockade of the area by the security forces.

Jamani A Gani and Zulkifli Ahmad were reported in the media to have been shot by security forces who were conducting a "sweeping operation" looking for supporters of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The two, who had been attending a ceremony in honour of of Jamani A Gani's wife's first pregnancy in the village of Blang Seupeng in Matang Kuli sub-district, North Aceh, hid when the security forces arrived but were discovered and shot before being taken away in sacks. It is not known where the two men were taken, or whether they are dead or alive.

Another PCC team which had been sent to the district of East Aceh to investigate reports that seven activists from a local NGO, Committee of Society for Reform (KOMUR), had been tortured while in detention in February, was also prevented from carrying out its work because of the heavy presence of security forces in the area.

"By initiating talks and saying it will bring human rights violators to justice, the Indonesian Government says it wants to improve human rights in Aceh. However, it takes no action to protect civilians against the excesses of its own security forces, " said Amnesty International.

The Indonesian Government must take immediate measures to protect human rights activists and ensure they have full access to all areas of the province.

Background There are unconfirmed reports that close to 200 people have been killed so far this year in the context of counter-insurgency operations by the Indonesian security forces against Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

Amnesty International has documented a number of recent cases of extrajudicial killings, "disappearances" and arbitrary arrests of human rights activists in its recent report Indonesia: Acehnese Human Rights Defenders under Attack (AI Index: ASA 21/06/00). ENDS.../ Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom

****************************************************************

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

****************************************************************


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news