Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Allan Nairn to Indonesian miltiary - bring it on

UPDATE: Allan Nairn on Wednesday's Democracy Now! Journalist Allan Nairn Facing Possible Arrest in Indonesia for Exposing US-Backed Forces Assassinated Civilians

Allan Nairn challenges Indonesian military to follow up military threats to prosecute him for his report on Kopassus killings in Aceh. He wrote on his blog:
In response to my report revealing their assassinations of political activists (see posting of March 21, 2010), the US-backed Indonesian armed forces (TNI) are threatening to have me arrested, presumably on criminal defamation charges. (See Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Nurdin Hasan , Jakarta Globe, "Indonesian Military Threatens Legal Action Over Aceh Party Killings Claims.")...

I will be glad to stand in court before the Indonesian public and detail TNI's role in numerous tortures, disappearances, massacres and assassinations.

I would welcome the opportunity to enter a formal, public legal proceeding which would afford the opportunity to question TNI Generals under oath.

If given such a chance I would also attempt to call US personnel as witnesses, and question US military, CIA, State Department, and White House officials about their support for TNI. I would ask these Americans why they have given weapons, training and money to TNI, even as they have seen that force repeatedly kill civilians.
Criminal defamation laws have often been used in an attempt to silence criticism of Indonesian officials. A recent example is the filing of defamation charges against Usman Hamid of KontraS in September 2009 on a complaint by retired general Muchdi Purwopranjono, accused in the murder of human rights lawyer Munir.

Under Indonesia's criminal code, conviction for defamation of a public official carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and fines. Various other laws incorporate defamation. The Law on Information and Electronic Transactions, passed in 2008, calls for a penalty up to 6 years and a fine up to one billion rupiah. In Indonesia, those of accused of crimes with penalties longer then 5 years are denied bail.

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