Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Letter to Secretary of State Clinton on Defamation Case against Usman Hamid

Joint letter from ETAN and West Papua Advocacy Team
excerpts below, full letter here
We are non-governmental organizations long concerned with human rights and democracy in Indonesia. We are writing to express our concern about the defamation case filed against Usman Hamid, Coordinator of Indonesia's Commission for Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) and a prominent human rights defender. Criminal defamation charges carry a maximum sentence of up to four years imprisonment; longer if the subject of the alleged defamation is a government official. The complaint arises from his involvement in the campaign for justice for his murdered colleague, Munir Said Thalib, who was poisoned on September 7, 2004.

We urge that the U.S. government communicate to the Indonesian government at the most senior level its concern that the criminal proceedings against Mr. Hamid set a dangerous precedent for the rule of law in Indonesia. The Indonesian legal system should not be employed to intimidate human rights advocates. Their work is crucial. For too many years those responsible for gross human rights violations have escaped accountability, especially those with command responsibility levels of military and police.
Take Action via Human Rights First: Demand End to Intimidation of Indonesian Activist Seeking Justice

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