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


ETAN Mourns Death Of Jafar Siddiq Hamzah

ETAN Mourns Death Of Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, Urges Justice for Victims of Indonesian Military and Militia Violence

"The East Timor Action Network (ETAN) is deeply saddened and angered at the confirmation of Jafar Siddiq Hamzah's murder. We have lost a friend and colleague. The world has lost a tireless advocate for human rights, and the people of Aceh and Indonesia have lost an advocate for peace and the rule of law," said John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN.

"ETAN often worked with Jafar to address human rights issues and military violence in Indonesia and East Timor. The world has lost a tireless campaigner for human rights, and the Acehnese and Indonesian people have lost an advocate of peace and the rule of law," said John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN.

"If those responsible think they have deterred others who share Jafar's goals, they should think again. We can honor his memory best by continuing his work to promote justice and bring the Indonesian military to account for their numerous crimes," added Miller.

"Our hearts go out to his family and to the families of the four others whose bodies were found with Jafar," said Miller.

"The U.S. and Indonesian governments must ensure that those responsible for Jafar's torture and murder are brought to justice," said Karen Orenstein, of ETAN's Washington Office.

Jafar Siddiq Hamzah was last seen on August 5 in Medan, Indonesia, where he failed to keep an afternoon appointment. His mutilated body was found with four others outside Medan on September 5.

"The kidnapping and murder of such a prominent human rights activist shows that no one is safe," said Miller.

ETAN called on the international community to strengthen democracy and human rights in Indonesia by publicly suspending all assistance to the Indonesian military and police until those forces are brought under firm civilian control and no longer torture and kill Indonesians and East Timorese. Those responsible for crimes -- including Hamzah's murder and the recent killings of U.N. aid workers in West Timor -- must also be brought to justice; other critical conditions include the safe return of East Timorese refugees trapped in West Timor and the disarming and disbanding of militias and the arrest of militia leaders.

"Indonesian human rights organizations point out that because Jafar disappeared without a trace in a crowded city in broad daylight, he was likely kidnapped by military operatives. The Indonesian police investigation so far has proven totally inadequate. There must be civilian oversight of any future investigation, preferably including independent human rights advocates," said Orenstein.

"Jafar's case merits formation of a high level civilian investigation team that includes the participation of the Indonesian attorney general's office and Komnas HAM, Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights. The Clinton Administration should publicly call for the formation of such a team, which should also include international officials and human rights advocates. Leaving the investigation to the Indonesian police (PolRI) seriously compromises its integrity and transparency, given PolRI's record of severe repression in Aceh and elsewhere," said Orenstein.

Acehnese by birth but a permanent U.S. resident, Jafar Siddiq Hamzah founded and chaired the International Forum on Aceh (IFA), a non-governmental organization campaigning for peace and human rights in Aceh. Serious human rights violations are routine in the region, where a strong independence movement is active and more than 300 people have been killed this year, most by Indonesian security forces.

Through the IFA, Jafar worked to alert the world of military crackdowns in his homeland. He had pursued a degree in political science at the New School For Social Research in New York since 1999, where he was enrolled or the fall semester.



John M. Miller Internet:
Media & Outreach Coordinator, East Timor Action Network 48 Duffield St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA Phone: (718)596-7668 Fax: (718)222-4097 Mobile: (917)690-4391
Web site:

Send a blank e-mail message to to find out how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet


© 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>>



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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news