Thursday, December 2, 2010

West Papua Report - December 2010

now out here

During his November 9-10 visit to Indonesia, President Obama and President Yudhoyono unveiled a "comprehensive partnership" that strongly reflects Washington's traditional perception of Indonesia as a platform servicing U.S. security and commercial interests. A key element of the "partnership," broadened security ties, comes at the expense of human rights and democratization which are under growing threat from corrupt and unaccountable Indonesian security forces. Secret Kopassus documents released by investigative journalist Alan Nairn reveal that the targeting of senior members of Papuan civil society is official policy, approved at senior levels. Papuans used the occasion of President Obama's visit to protest the denial of self determination and the continuing devastation of local resources by the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoran. Journalists have complained loudly over Indonesian government subterfuge regarding the trial purportedly of security personnel involved in the torture of Papuans. On December 1, Papuans and their supporters in West Papua and in cities around the world celebrated the day in 1961 when the Papuans declared their independence from Dutch colonial rule. A late November visit to West Papua by President Yudhoyono and many members of his cabinet failed to address long-standing Papuan concerns. A statement by an Indonesian military leader indicates military intent to deepen already substantial military involvement in commercial activities in West Papua.

Juan Mendez on Accountability

Juan Mendez is currently UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. He was Secretary-General's special advisor on genocide and much more. From today's Democracy Now!
JUAN GONZALEZ: Your response on this issue of looking forward instead of back and not allowing witch hunts to take place?
JUAN MÉNDEZ: Well, this has been a debate all over the world every time we have to look at egregious conduct by state officials. People always say we want to look forward and not backward. I reject the notion that investigating and prosecuting international crimes is a way of just looking backwards and being—and engaging in a witch hunt or being vengeful. I think, on the contrary, it’s a proper way of looking forward: it’s settling the stories the way they should be settled, deciding on what was done by order of whom and against whom, and moving forward only after we know the whole truth....
I want to stress that that’s not a discretionary decision by any state. Every state that signs and ratifies the Convention Against Torture is legally obliged to investigate, prosecute and punish every single act of torture.
AMY GOODMAN: Juan Méndez, we only have 30 seconds, but you speak from personal experience. I mean, you come from Argentina. In Argentina, there are hundreds of trials going on now of torturers.
JUAN MÉNDEZ: That’s right.
AMY GOODMAN: You, yourself, were tortured for representing political prisoners—that’s right?—in the 1970s?
JUAN MÉNDEZ: That’s correct, yes. That’s right. You know, and I am following the trials in Argentina. They are, you know, very uplifting, and they are a way of looking forward. It’s a way in which the country sees itself in the mirror, reckons with its past, and makes sure that it doesn’t happen again. So, that’s a way of looking forward. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Problems with ETAN east-timor news listserv

There is currently a problem with the ETAN east-timor news listserv from Messages are not currently going out, but are available on the list archive - Once the issue is resolved, held messages will be e-mailed to list subscribers.

Make a monthly pledge via credit card
 click here

more info about ETAN listservs here

Monday, November 29, 2010

Free Indonesia's Political Prisoners, Demonstrate in DC, December 1

December 1, 2010
12:30-1:30 PM

Amnesty International

Raise your voices, Raise your flags

Rally for Filep
Free Indonesia's Political Prisoners

Indonesian Embassy
2020 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC
1 block from Dupont Circle Metro Station

Wednesday December 1 is the 6th anniversary of Filep Karma's arrest for peacefully raising a flag.  Join Amnesty International and ETAN in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Filep Karma and all prisoners of conscience in Indonesia!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


UPDATE: The Jakarta Post reports that "3,059 [documents] came from the US Embassy in Jakarta and 167 from the US Consulate in Surabaya. The latest document among the Jakarta files was dated Feb. 27, 2010, while the earliest was sent out on Nov. 19, 1990. Only 14 of the files were sent out during the 1990s, and another 20 from 2000 to 2005. The vast majority were sent out from 2006 to February this year."

Wikileaks U.S. State Department document dump will include about 350 from embassy in Dili and ten times as many from the embassy in Jakarta.

According to Wikileaks:
"Wikileaks began on Sunday November 28th publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into US Government foreign activities.
The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. ...
The embassy cables will be released in stages over the next few months.
Only a few hundred documents have been posted so far. Much interesting, and possibly revelatory, reading to come.