Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From Human Rights First

Demand End to Intimidation of Indonesian Activist Seeking Justice

Usman Hamid, Coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), is being investigated for criminal defamation. The Jakarta police investigation was instigated by the same retired State Intelligence Agency official alleged to have orchestrated the murder of Hamid's late colleague, noted human rights lawyer Munir Said Thalib.

Mr. Hamid has been one of the most persistent voices in the effort to hold accountable all those responsible for the fatal poisoning of Munir in September 2004. Retired Major General Muchdi Purwopranjono was acquitted of murder on December 31, 2008, after a trial marred by allegations of witness intimidation and the presence of intimidating groups in the courtroom. Outside the court, Usman Hamid criticized the verdict and, according to media reports, asserted that Muchdi had murdered Munir.

Criminal defamation charges are used by many governments that wish to silence their political opposition. This violation of Usman Hamid's freedom of expression is a 180-degree departure from the course the Indonesian government should be pursuing: vigorous and just prosecution of all those, no matter how powerful, who had a hand in the murder of Munir.

Take action now to urge President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to end the investigation of Usman Hamid and to reinvigorate investigation and prosecution of Munir's killers.

More background

Send a letter to President Yudhoyono,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Justice Denied! - Washington, DC event

Justice Denied!
East Timor's Struggle for Justice Ten Years After Voting for Independence

Monday, October 5, 7:00pm

at the offices of Friends of the Earth: 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite #600 (near Dupont Circle), Washington, DC

A Discussion with John M. Miller of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and T. Kumar of Amnesty International

In August the people of East Timor celebrated ten years since voting for independence from Indonesia, following a brutal 24-year military occupation. On this historic anniversary, please join us to discuss the continuing Timorese struggle for justice and against impunity for human rights violations.

While calls continue around the world for justice and accountability for Indonesian officials and others indicted for crimes against humanity committed during the occupation, the President of East Timor recently declared that East Timor would not pursue an international tribunal, despite overwhelming demands for justice by the East Timorese. At the same time, East Timor's Prime Minister secretly released, Martenus Bere, a militia leader indicted for crimes against humanity into the hands of Indonesian authorities.

Indonesia's brutal quarter-century occupation of East Timor left up to 180,000 dead. In 1999, first to intimidate Timorese against voting for independence and then to punish them for it, the Indonesian military organized a scorched-earth campaign that left at least 1,400 dead and hundreds of thousands of civilians forcibly displaced. Not a single Indonesian official has been held accountable for these crimes.

T. Kumar, Advocacy Director for Asia and the Pacific at Amnesty International, will discuss Amnesty's recent report calling for an international tribunal for East Timor. John M. Miller, National Coordinator of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, was in East Timor in August and September and will discuss how justice is viewed by members of Timorese civil society and current organizing for an international tribunal. John participated in the country’s celebration of its historic referendum, including a major conference of Timorese and international solidarity activists committed to organizing for social and economic justice in the millennium’s first nation.

Organized by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), Washington, DC.
Questions, please write: craig@etan.org; phone: (631) 721 8011. More info: www.etan.org