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Protests against Parliamentary Elections in Aceh


Protests against Parliamentary Elections in Aceh

Aceh Support Group

Wellington Activists from the Aceh Support Group held banners outside the Indonesian Embassy and in the surrounding area in solidarity with the people of Aceh.

Aceh has been hit by harsh martial law imposed by the Indonesian army (TNI) in an effort to crush the rebel Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The brutality of the last 10 months is part of a pattern of repression and violence against the Acehnese by the Indonesian army for decades.

Parliamentary elections took place yesterday throughout Indonesia. Yet, despite calls to postpone the elections in Aceh until martial law is ended the elections went ahead there.

“The elections in Aceh are unfair and undemocratic”, said Bakhtiar, a New Zealand Acehnese activist.

There is a very real fear that if Acehnese do not vote in the election they will be branded GAM sympathisers and punished by the army, this is not surprising considering the rampant abuse civilians have suffered under martial law. Also, in Aceh there was a restricted amount of parties an individual.

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