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Cablegate: Elite Police Mobile Brigade -- A Way Forward On

VZCZCXRO6760
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1466/01 2451023
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021023Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3228
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 001466

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, S/CT, PM, INL,
DS/IP/EAP, DS/ITA/EAP, NSC FOR J.BADER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINS PHUM ASEC ID
SUBJECT: ELITE POLICE MOBILE BRIGADE -- A WAY FORWARD ON
VETTING

REF: JAKARTA 1232 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The USG's current training policy toward
Mobile Brigade is counterproductive. Prohibiting this key
law enforcement element from receiving ICITAP training
prevents members from learning about INL-funded
DOJ/ICITAP-developed use-of-force policy and thus take steps
to overcome the group's past history. Mobile Brigade has
undertaken internal reforms, is providing members with human
rights training, and has played a critical role in protecting
American citizens. A number of human rights groups support
the training of Mobile Brigade. Mission advocates vetting
Mobile Brigade members as we would any other police or
military entity so as to ensure that no one trained with USG
funds has committed human rights abuses. END SUMMARY.

HISTORY OF USG POLICY TOWARD BRIMOB

3. (SBU) The Department of State has a mixed policy regarding
engagement with Mobile Brigade, also known as Brimob.
Although some U.S. entities are permitted to train Mobile
Brigade, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
(INCLE)funding through the Bureau of International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) may not be used to support
Mobile Brigade training.

4. (SBU) In 2003, subsequent to a GAO audit that criticized
the USG's inconsistent vetting practices in Indonesia, INL
set a policy against training Mobile Brigade. The
INCLE-funded training was halted, not because members of
Mobile Brigade had been accused of human rights violations at
that time, but because prior to 2003, vetting was
inconsistently carried out on Mobile Brigade officers,
allowing some officers who had previously engaged in human
rights offenses to be trained. In an effort to ensure that
no human rights abusers were trained with INCLE funding, INL
established a policy that prevented training Mobile Brigade
as a part of the INL program.

5. (SBU) However, updates to ICITAP's vetting procedures
have since been implemented, bringing the program's vetting
regime fully in line with Leahy Law requirements. ICITAP
vets 100 percent of all training recipients, ensuring that no
human rights abusers receive USG-funded training. As a
result, the policy preventing training of Mobile Brigade
should be reconsidered. Mobile Brigade is under the
authority of the Indonesian National Police (INP) and subject
to civilian laws.

BRIMOB'S RECORD

6. (SBU) Mobile Brigade has been criticized by some human
rights NGOs for lack of accountability in alleged human
rights abuses. NGOs often cite the acquittal by the Makassar
Permanent Human Rights Court in 2006 of a Papua Brimob
Commander in Abepura, Papua, as evidence of lack of
accountability. The court in this case determined that the
incident did not rise to the level of a crime against
humanity. Many of the incidents provided in NGO reports fail
to meet the standard of gross violations of human rights as
defined in Section 502 B (D) of the Foreign Assistance Act.
Most of the allegations are based on inappropriate or
excessive use of force, which are not instances of gross
human rights violations.

7. (SBU) Although more needs to be done, the INP and the
Attorney General's Office (AGO) have taken steps to enforce
accountability. The following are a selection of incidents
for which the GOI has taken steps toward accountability. Six
Mobile Brigade officers, who in April 2008 were accused of
beating a university student, were sentenced to two months in
prison. In 2007, a Mobile Brigade officer was sentenced to
two years in jail for the 2006 killing of a farmer (these
sentences are in line with Indonesian practice).

NGO SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS TRAINING

8. (SBU) Some human rights groups in Papua have endorsed USG
training for Mobile Brigade. Rev. Budi Hernawan, Director of
the Jayapura Catholic Diocese Office for Peace and Justice,
told us that such training would be valuable. Hernawan
assessed that police leaders in Papua were genuinely

JAKARTA 00001466 002 OF 003


committed to improving respect for human rights. However,
their capacity to do so remained limited. U.S. training,
including human rights training, could help address that
deficit, according to Hernawan. Theo Hesegem, director of
the Law Enforcement and Human Rights Advocacy Network in
Wamena concurred. His organization provides human rights
training to the Indonesian police--including Mobile
Brigade--and he has encouraged the USG to do the same.
(Note: Human rights training is covered in the DOJ/ICITAP
developed use-of-force policy and was recently enacted in the
INP's human rights regulations.)

9. (SBU) Other foreign governments, who do not have the same
restrictions, have been able to train Mobile Brigade. The
Australians are about to begin a program to enhance human
rights awareness through Kemitraan (Partnership for
Governance Reform), an NGO dedicated to building prosperity
through good governance principles and practices. UNHCR also
provided similar training to Mobile Brigade from 2001 to
2003. The New Zealand Embassy is running a community
policing project in Indonesia, which has a focus on Papua,
and involves some members of Mobile Brigade.

U.S. SHOULD REENGAGE MOBILE BRIGADE

10. (SBU) Department policy prohibits almost all engagement
with the Mobile Brigade. The involvement of some Mobile
Brigade personnel in past human rights violations in Aceh,
East Timor, and Papua should not prevent our working with
this critical unit now. The Mobile Brigade has undertaken
significant reforms--including human rights training for all
personnel--since Indonesia became a democracy. Moreover, the
majority of Mobile Brigade personnel were not even members of
the force when the previous violations took place. Mobile
Brigade played a critical role in protecting American
Citizens in the aftermath of the July 17 bombings in Jakarta
and in responding to the series of shootings at the
Freeport-McMoRan mining operation in Papua. The United
States already trains the small number of Mobile Brigade
personnel who are responsible for Embassy security.

11. (SBU) ICITAP would like to utilize INCLE funding to
train Mobile Brigade in three critical areas: INL-funded
DOJ/ICITAP-developed use-of-force policy socialization,
Standard Emergency Management Systems (SEMS) for disaster
relief, humanitarian assistance, and pandemic assistance
(including pandemic avian influenza), and environmental and
resource protection.

12. (SBU) Training in use-of-force policy socialization is
consistent with the recommendations made by most NGOs that
have been critical of the GOI handling of accountability with
Mobile Brigade, including Amnesty International and Human
Rights Watch. Standard Emergency Management Systems training
and pandemic assistance training would enhance the capability
of Mobile Brigade to fulfill their core mission of providing
emergency response. Preventing environmental and natural
resource crimes is a Department priority for curbing
transnational crime and trafficking, and providing training
to Mobile Brigade would only enhance our ability to fulfill
this important mandate.

13. (SBU) For the past four years, ICITAP has been 100
percent Leahy Act compliant, without exception. The training
of Mobile Brigade personnel would not represent a departure
from Mission's current vetting practices. Indeed, the
structure of Mobile Brigade facilitates the vetting process.
Unlike military units, Mobile Brigade is organized in
discrete units, to which Mobile Brigade personnel return
after deployment. If allowed to train Mobile Brigade
personnel with INCLE funding, we would vet both the
individual and his/her unit, which would add an additional
layer of vetting to the already thorough State Department
policy that we follow in vetting foreign security forces for
U.S. training.

ENGAGEMENT -- THE WAY FORWARD

14. (SBU) The vast majority of human rights allegations
leveled against Mobile Brigade revolve around excessive or
inappropriate use of force. With INL funding, DOJ/ICITAP
developed a use-of-force policy that has been adopted by the
INP. However, this policy has not been socialized among all
Mobile Brigade officers. ICITAP, using INCLE funding, would

JAKARTA 00001466 003 OF 003


like to train Mobile Brigade on this use-of-force Policy. We
believe this non-lethal training would enhance understanding
of and respect for human rights. The other areas of
engagement with Mobile Brigade would involve providing
nonlethal training in emergency management, pandemic
assistance and combating illegal logging, all areas of
concern for the U.S. government.

HUME

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