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HR demonstrations if President Wahid visits

Indonesia Human Rights Committee,

Box 68-419,

Auckland.

11 September, 2000

MEDIA RELEASE: Indonesia Human Rights Committee will stage demonstrations if President Wahid visits.

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee will greet Indonesia's President Wahid with protest if he visits New Zealand. The group will call on the concerned public to join in peaceful demonstrations to show their support for those who are suffering from human rights abuses.

"If President Wahid comes to New Zealand we will take to the streets to ensure that he cannot forget the tragedy and the atrocities that have taken place in West Timor," said Maire Leadbeater for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee, in response to the announcement from Prime Minister Helen Clark that she has invited the President to visit.

"We will let him know of our outrage and sorrow for the suffering of the East Timorese refugees. We will also remind him about the people in Maluku and West Papua who have died at the hands of paramilitary forces."

"President Wahid is the Supreme Commander of the military - he must be held accountable for failing to end the escalating violence. His forces are directly or indirectly responsible for an ongoing tragedy. Right now the people in the West Timor refugee camps are trapped in a nightmare, unable to escape from the twin horrors of the militia thugs and the resultant likelihood of starvation."

" The President says he wants an end to the mayhem. If so, then he should disband the militias and ensure the arrest and trial of the militia leaders. He should start with the notorious militia leader Eurico Guterres who is now believed to be responsible for the mob attack on the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office in Atambua. This is the same Eurico who blatantly led the murderous convoys in a terror ride around East Timor's capital last year."

"Mr Wahid must stop making empty promises and take action."

For further information: Maire Leadbeater 09-376-9098 or cell 025-436-957


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