Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Groups meet Ramos-Horta, urge Timor ratification of disappearances treaty

On behalf of HAK and others, ETAN is circulating a media release concerning President Ramos-Horta's pledge to seek Timor-Leste's signature and ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Four more ratifications are needed before the treaty takes effect.

Read the release here.

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

Monday, November 23, 2009

Satellite imaging of environmental damage near Freeport mine in West Papua and in Timor-Leste

Dr. Chris Lavers writes

There is considerable international concern at the rapid growth of the Freeport mine at Grasberg, operated by Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) in West Papua (Irian Jaya) over failures to address human rights and environmental protection issues. For the Amungme tribe, reduction of the beautiful Mount Grasberg, one of the largest Sudirman range peaks, to a vast hole in the ground, has been devastating.
Read the rest here
Figure 4 Central view of the mine (Tambang Terbuka).

see also the ETAN/WPAT: Statement on the operations of the Freeport McMoran Mine in West Papua, Indonesia

The blog Return to Rai Ketak posted several NASA satellite images showing fires throughout Timor-Leste during the height of the dry season.