Thursday, May 12, 2016

Remembering Michael Ratner

Remembering Michael Ratner

Democracy Now! Suing Dictators Around the World:
A Look at How Michael Ratner Helped Reshape Human Rights Law

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network is saddened to learn of the death of human rights attorney and ETAN supporter Michael Ratner, 72. Michael was at the forefront of many legal struggles for justice both within the U.S. and internationally. He served as President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he pioneered the use of universal jurisdiction and U.S. law to bring rights violators to justice.

In 1994, Michael and CCR successfully sued Major-General Sintong Panjaitan for his role in the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre of more than 270 East Timorese. A U.S. District Court ordered the general to pay substantial compensatory and punitive damages to Helen Todd, the mother of Kamal Bamadhaj, the only non-East Timorese killed that day. Later, also with the help of Michael and CCR, several East Timorese sued Indonesian General Johny Lumintang for his role in the military and militia violence which surrounded the 1999 vote on independence. After hearing testimony from the East Timorese and experts, a U.S. magistrate entered a large judgement against the general that was later over-turned on a technicality.

Michael also inspired one of ETAN's most unique actions. Under a long-existing procedure, we requested a temporary street renaming supporting Timor-Leste near the Indonesian consulate in New York. After we were turned down on overtly political grounds, CCR sued the city on our behalf. On July 17, 1999, ETAN dedicated a street sign naming 68th Street "East Timor Way."

Speaking at a discussion organized in 2001 by ETAN on the 10th anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre, Michael reflected on the success of the Timor's drive for independence. "These struggles can be won," he said. "It's a lesson we can all take away from this."

We thank Michael for his dedication, inspiration, and tenacity. Our condolences to his family,friends and colleagues.

More about Michael Ratner

Video: Suing Dictators Around the World: A Look at How Michael Ratner Helped Reshape Human Rights Law, Democracy Now! May 12, 2016

Michael Ratner, Lawyer Who Won Rights for Guantánamo Prisoners, Dies at 72, New York Times,
May 11, 2016

PUBLIC LIVES; Still Tilting at Windmills, and Fighting for Rights, New York Times,  August 2, 2002

Thursday, April 14, 2016

ETAN in solidarity with Indonesia's LGBT community

ETAN stands in solidarity with Indonesia's LGBT community

LGBT participate in parade as a part of a of a festival in Yogyakarta. 
LGBT participation in parade as a part of a of a cultural festival in Yogyakarta. Photo vi
The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) strongly condemns recent and ongoing attacks against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people in Indonesia. ETAN stands with those Indonesian organizations and activists opposing all forms of discrimination and violence against LGBT people.

There has been a shocking rise in hate speech and homophobic actions in Indonesia. In recent months, anti-LGBT policies have spread and members of the LGBT community face ongoing harassment and death threats. Statements attacking LGBT people have come from all levels of government and include education officials calling for a ban on LGBT groups on school campuses and Indonesia's Vice-President Jusuf Kalla asking UNDP to defund LGBT organizations. Indonesia's leadership is ignoring its responsibility to include and protect all of its citizens by allowing this environment of intimidation and hatred to continue and spread.

Read the rest here

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Take ACTION: Australia: Hands Off Timor's Oil!

Hands Off Timor Oil! Online Action

Share this action:

Stand in solidarity with the East Timorese demanding their rights

Join the international online protest the week of March 21-25 
Take Action from your computer, phone or tablet

1) Take a photo of yourself holding a sign saying either "Australia: Hands Off Timor's Oil!" or "Australia: Median Line Now!"; include your name and location (e.g. John, New York, NY, USA).

2) Post your selfie to Twitter and/or Instagram and add it to the event's Facebook page here with the hashtag #medianlinenow and/or #HandsOffTimorsOil.

See sample photos below and printable signs in WordPDF. On Twitter include @TurnbullMalcolm and @etan009; on Instagram include @turnbullmalcolm and@etan009. If you do not have, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, just email us your photo (watch the file size, please), and we will post it.

3) After you post, email a link to us at

This part of Hands Off Timor's Oil - International Week of Action

Tempo too ona atu bele utiliza ita boot telephone, ita boot nia laptop/PC hodi fo apoio luta atu bele liberta ita nia fronteira maritima. Bolu atensaun ba Timor-oan hotu atu partisipa ativu hodi bele fahe apelo ida ne'e ba kolega sira seluk, influensia iha media sosial hotu-hotu (facebook profile, FB group, Twitter, instangram,) no haruka photo no lian fuan ""Australia: Hands Off Timor's Oil!" ou "Australia: Median Line Now!" ba diresaun sira ne'e :

Facebook : hakerek hastag # medianlinenow no/ou # HandsOffTimorsOil .
Twitter : @TurnbullMalcolm ; @etan009;
Instagram : @turnbullmalcolm ; @etan009

Keta haluha ba mos hakerek ita boot nia naran no hela fatin (dili, australia no fatin seluk) hanesan ezemplu sira ne'e,

Thursday, February 25, 2016

ETAN Alert - Write your Senators today!

Write your Senators - email letters here.

Reveal the Truth, Acknowledge the Crime

Take Action on U.S. Support for Mass Violence and Genocide in Indonesia

Take action on U.S. accountability for its role in the massacres that followed Suharto's brutal seizure of power.

Read whole alert here:

1) Support S.Res. 273. Call your Senators and urge them to cosponsor Senator Tom Udall's (D-NM) resolution condemning the 1965-1966 mass murder in Indonesia and expressing concern about the lack of accountability for these crimes. 

Call the Capitol Switchboard - (202) 224-3121 - and ask for your Senators' offices. Once connected ask for a foreign policy aide. Urge the Senator to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 273 on Indonesia, summarize the resolution, and a give your reasons why you believe it is important.Stress the need for both the U.S. and Indonesia to acknowledge the past by releasing all its documents from 1965/66. By taking responsibility for its role in these crimes, the U.S. will be supporting justice, reconciliation and assist efforts in Indonesia to hold its security forces accountable and to lift ongoing restrictions on freedom of expression.

Please encourage others to call. Be sure to follow-up with an email or another call. Let us knowthe results of your calls.

S.Res. 273 urges Indonesia to consider a truth, justice, and reconciliation commission to address crimes against humanity and other human rights violations and calls on the U.S. government departments and agencies involved in developing and implementing policy towards Indonesia at the time to locate, recommend for declassification, and make available to the public all records from that time. Read more about the S.Res. 273 here:

2) Sign our petition urging the U.S. government to take two immediate steps:

a) declassify and release all documents related to the U.S. role in the 1965/66 mass violence, and b) formally acknowledge the U.S. role in facilitating the 1965-66 violence and its subsequent support for the brutalities of the Suharto regime.
Thank you to all who have signed so far.

We also urge you to sign the petition by Human Rights Watch here.

Order the documentaries here and support ETAN
The Look of Silence.
Blu-RayDVDBlu-Ray (2 discs)DVD (2 discs)


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Indonesia over-reacts to ETAN protest in San Francisco

Indonesia over-reacts to ETAN protest in San Francisco

Comment by Made Supraitma

Made Supriatma is an independent scholar and regular contributor to IndoProgess.

Feb. 16, 2016 - Today, President Jokowi visited the city of San Francisco. He was in the United States to attend a consultation meeting between the government of the United States and ASEAN. The meeting was held in the city of Palm Springs. Jokowi then took time to stop in San Francisco, possibly to make up for his failure to pay a visit to the West Coast during his visit to the U.S. last year. At that time, he shortened his visit due to catastrophic wildfires.

This afternoon, he met with the people who are members of an organization called Diaspora Indonesia. There was also a protest on that occasion. They raised posters that shouted their concerns about some of the issues that should be considered by the president. One banner urged him to "Reject Reclamation Benoa Bay." Other issues included  human rights violations in Papua, the oppressed religious minorities such as Ahmadis and Shias, and the LGBT issues that are now emerging. Incidentally, San Francisco is the one of the most tolerant and supportive cities in America for LGBT people and their struggles.

The President and his aides who participated in the visit might have been surprised, wondering why local issues such as "Reject Reclamation Benoa Bay" sail away to the United States? That's because this issue is no longer a local issue. It is an international matter.

I doubt whether the president and his entourage had a chance to ask or especially reflect on an answer. They were too busy. Tomorrow they will meet with officials of tech companies (some of them LGBT!). But it would be a big mistake for the president and his entourage ignore these issues.

I just heard some stories that did  preoccupy the president's entourage. A few days before his arrival, consular officers were busy contacting comrades planning the protest. They even send SMS messages saying, "Boss, there were guests from Jakarta who want to see you. Let's coffee-coffee."  The Jakarta "guests" were from BIN (Indonesia's intelligence bureau). Brothers and sisters, you know it would be the greatest stupidity on the face of this earth to want to have coffee with the BIN! Is not it? Remember the case of Munir, who was poisoned cowardly when invited to drink coffee? Ha, that's him ...

During the action Jokowi's entourage did other annoying things, Officers from Paspampres (presidential security force) tried to  prohibit the demonstration in front of the venue. What happened? San Francisco local police intervened, saying the demonstrators had a permit. This is America! Not Indonesia! Paspampres retreated.

Also annoying was the behavior of BIN. They tried to ask the names of the participants in the action, where they live, how long they have been in America, and so forth. Then out of nowhere, they began to call the name of one of the participants in the action in a very provocative manner.

I think as a matter of free speech we suffered a setback at the time of Jokowi's visit. I remember the [September 2012] demonstration against SBY in New York . Indonesian spies did not dare to approach. They just take photos from across the street. They did organize a counter demonstration and accused us of being paid protesters. This accusation was met with a very sweet by John M. Miller, ETAN coordinator, "We do not rent the crowd here in the U.S., but we do not mind to take your money. ETAN needs money for campaigning."
Intelligence was contrived to provide an early warning about the opponents of foreign states and countries, especially those who would undermine the existence of the state, not to silence opposition or pressue those who disagree with the government to change their minds. Jokowi, I think government should be reminded of that.

My honeymoon with Jokowi's reign is over. I wait for you in New York, Mr. President!

see also San Francisco Protest: Demand President Jokowi Support Justice for All