Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fax campaign for Indonesia political prisoner

Amnesty International has launched a "faxjam" calling for the release of Johan Teterissa, a teacher, serving 15 years in prison for taking part in a peaceful protest in Maluku, Indonesia. Teterissa (also spelled Teterisa) was arrested in June 2007 for his part in a peaceful protest during which the banned "Benang Raja: flag – a symbol of Maluku independence – was raised in front of Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He was tortured by police and continues to suffer from internal injuries as a result.

More background on Tetrisa and other Indonesia political prisoners can be found here (PDF) from Human Rights Watch.

There are an estimated 90 prisoners of conscience in Indonesia.
Send your fax to Indonesia's Minister of Justice via Amnesty's website here

see also Beaten, tortured, and imprisoned after raising a flag by Josef Benedict, Indonesia Campaigner, Amnesty International

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Groups Urge U.S. Not to Sell Attack Helicopters to Indonesia

Ninety organizations today urged the U.S. government and Congress not to provide deadly attack helicopters to Indonesia. Indonesia has announced that it plans to buy eight AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the United States.
Apache helicopter
The groups warned that the helicopters will escalate conflicts in Indonesia, especially in the rebellious region of West Papua: "Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians."

The Indonesian military (TNI) regularly conducts "sweep operations," involving attacks on villages where innocent villagers are forced from their homes. The groups write that "Papuan civilians either flee the attacks to neighboring villages or into the surrounding forests where many die or face starvation, cut off from access to their gardens, shelter, and medical care." Sweep operations are now underway in the Central Highlands region of West Papua.

The letter was organized by the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and the West Papua Advocacy Team and signed by human rights, religious, indigenous rights, disarmament and other organizations based in 14 countries.

see full media release and letter with complete list of signers here: