Call Your Senators Today to Sign onto Aceh/Papua Letter to UN
Contact your Senators today and urge them to sign Senator Frank Lautenberg's (D-NJ) letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urging him to appoint a Special Representative to Indonesia to monitor and report on the situations in Aceh and Papua. The Special Representative would then make recommendations on steps the UN can take to address these deadly conflicts. Please call your Senators today to request that they sign this most important letter.
The severe human rights violations and dire humanitarian conditions in Aceh and Papua should cause the UN and U.S. government outrage. Yet both remain largely silent as the atrocious behavior of the Indonesian military in these two regions remains out of sight and out of mind. This letter helps put Aceh and Papua back on the agenda and calls for direct UN involvement - a step human rights activists have been advocating for years.
What YOU can do:
Call both of your Senators today.
***Urge them to sign Senator Lautenberg’s letter urging UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to appoint a Special Representative to Indonesia to monitor and report on the situations in Aceh and Papua. This Special Representative would then make recommendations on steps the UN might take to address these deadly conflicts.
***Tell them that human rights and humanitarian conditions in Aceh and Papua are dire and in need of immediate international attention.
***To sign the letter, offices should contact Dafna Hochman at 224-7190.
(Please note, a deadline has not been set for this letter yet. Encourage Senate offices to sign on as soon as possible.)
The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121; ask for your Senators' offices. Then ask to speak with the foreign policy aide. If you don't know who your Senators are, go to www.senate.gov to find out.
Please call and have your friends call Senators. The more phone calls your Senators receive, the more likely they are to sign the letter. We need as many signatures as possible on this letter to finally get some international action.
Questions or to report responses, contact Karen Orenstein, 202-544-6911; email@example.com. For more information on Papua and Aceh, visit ETAN’s website at www.etan.org and WPAN’s website at www.wpaction.org.
The text of Senator Lautenberg’s letter follows.
The Honorable Kofi Annan
New York, New York 10017
Dear Mr. Secretary General:
We are writing to urge you to appoint a United Nations Special Representative to Indonesia to monitor and report on the situations in Aceh and Papua. This Special Representative would also make recommendations regarding steps the UN Security Council and General Assembly might undertake to end the troubling and deadly conflicts that continue to engulf these regions.
In Aceh, the declaration of martial law on May 19, 2003, has had an extraordinary human cost. While it is impossible to verify the precise number of extra-judicial incarcerations and killings, accounts suggest that more than 1300 people have been killed in the past year, the majority of whom have been civilians. Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights' (Komnas HAM) ad-hoc team for Aceh recently reported on the "attacks against unarmed civilians, including victims who were murdered, tortured, sexually abused or raped, or others who the court had not yet proved were rebels." The report also cited kidnapping, child abuse, arson, and robbery. The Komnas HAM team alleged that most violations were committed by the Indonesian security forces, including both high level political and military authorities, though some deaths have been attributed to the rebel Free Aceh Movement. The conflict has also generated massive refugee flows across international borders, with thousands of others displaced internally.
The Indonesian government and security forces have effectively shut off Aceh from the rest of the world, severely restricting the activities of Indonesian and international humanitarian and human rights organizations. Many non-governmental organization workers and activists have been forced into hiding. International mediahave been effectively barred from entering the province and the Indonesian press has been intimidated. In an affront to the United Nations itself, Indonesian authorities forced the UN to curtail its humanitarian activities in Aceh for several months in2003. While the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross are now allowed to operate there, significant constraints remain imposed on internal travel and contact with the civilian population.
In Papua, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have long documented human rights violations. Recently, the Indonesian military's creation of a militia has exacerbated tensions between indigenous Papuans and migrants.A military campaign in the Central Highlands has led to an inestimable number of civilian deaths and significant population displacement. The fate of those hiding in the Papuan forests remains unknown, as military authorities have prohibited provision of humanitarian assistance. Human rights organizations have endured intimidation and threats by government security forces operating with impunity.
Human rights violations in Papua have instigated a refugee flow across international borders. Dialogue between the Indonesian national government and Papuan local leaders has recently broken down, as demonstrated by Jakarta's ultimately deadly attempt to divide the province into smaller provinces against the will of the people. These rising tensions threaten not only Papuans and migrants but also international personnel, as evinced by the August 31, 2002 killing and wounding of U.S. citizens in Timika.
The international community has remained too quiet for too long regarding the conflicts in Aceh and Papua. The scale of human rights violations in these two Indonesian provinces warrants special international attention. Therefore, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to Indonesia to monitor and report on the situations in Aceh and Papua. We look forward to hearing from you regarding these concerns. Sincerely,
Cc: Ambassador John D. Negroponte, U.S. Representative to the United Nations
Find your congress person at http://www.house.gov
Hon. [congress person]
Washington DC Office
Washington DC 20515
Dear [congress person]:
I am writing you today to ask your office to work with the Chair and Ranking Member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and put language into the FY05 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. I urge bill language be included to withhold International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding for the Indonesian military until there is full accountability into the August 31, 2002, ambush that killed two Americans-school teacher Rick Spier and school superintendent Ted Burgon-as well as an Indonesian teacher named Bambang Riwanto. This attack also seriously wounded 8 Americans and 3 Indonesians. This ambush happened on the concession of the American company, Freeport McMoRan.
An October 2002 Indonesian Police report stated that the Indonesian Military (TNI) were apparently behind the ambush. The investigation was then turned over to the TNI to investigate themselves. They exonerated themselves of any involvement in November of 2002. The investigation into the ambush was stalled from further Indonesian investigation.
The FBI has been to Indonesia five times to investigate the ambush. They have been to Timika, the site of the ambush, four times. The first three visits were characterized by the FBI as "poor", but the last two visits, in December 2003, and in February/March 2004, were characterized as "good".
I believe that the FBI has had "good" cooperation from the Indonesian Government/TNI during the last two visits because of the amendment that was offered on the House floor by Congressman Joel Hefley in July 2003, and the two amendments that were put on the Senate Floor by Senator Allard and Senator Feingold in October of 2003. I believe that the subsequent restriction of IMET in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, forced the Indonesian Government/TNI into believing that the United States does take the murder and wounding of American citizens seriously. As Senator Feingold said on the Senate Floor in January of 2003, "Real partners in the fight against terrorism do not murder American citizens, and they do not conspire to cover up such murders".
We must find out who ordered and carried out the August 31, 2002, ambush so that we can stop such arrogance and lawlessness from happening to other innocent people, regardless of their nationality.
[Put a sentence or two here about why it’s also important for the people in Papua, including a reference such as, if the TNI can get away with murdering US citizens, imagine what they can get away with doing to their own nationals.]
[your name and title]
Below is a sample letter to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations urging a review of the Act of Free Choice:
The Hon Kofi Annan Secretary-General
New York NY 10017,
Fax: (212) 963-4879; 963 2155; 963 7055
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
I am writing to support a request made to you on 26 March 2002 to instigate a review of the UN's conduct in relation to the Act of Free Choice in West Papua in 1968-69. The documents submitted to you on 26 March make it quite clear that the UN failed to fulfil its obligation to "advise, assist and participate" in an act of self-determination "in accordance with international practice".
What took place was a complete sham, which has condemned the West Papuans to more than three decades of brutality and repression at the hands of the Indonesian military. It remains a source of unrest in the territory to this day. This betrayal of the West Papuan people was one of the most discreditable episodes in the UN's history. The UN's conduct then contrasts starkly with its scrupulously fair administration, under your leadership, of the popular consultation in East Timor in 1999.
I urge you to act immediately on the request for a review of the UN's conduct in West Papua. A proper investigation is vital to the credibility of the UN as an organisation which promotes and protects all human rights, including the right to self-determination. I look forward to your response to this request.
[your name and title]
Summer seems like such a haze?
Start it off with Lobby Days.
Campaign for justice, human rights,
Come to Washington and help fight,
Against Indonesian military assistance,
We need YOU to build resistance!
June 6 - 8 are ETAN's Lobby Days dates,
Reserve your tickets now and get good rates!
Keep the Bush administration from trumping justice for East Timor and human rights in West Papua and Indonesia. You're invited to ETAN's eleventh annual Lobby Days. Now is a
crucial time to make your voices heard in Congress!Why is it as important as ever to come to Lobby Days 2004?
* Justice for East Timor remains elusive, yet the Bush administration
will not support an international tribunal.
* The Bush administration is aggressively using the "war on terror" to
convince Congress to provide Indonesia with prestigious U.S. military
* War criminals responsible for crimes against humanity in East Timor
are leading a massive military campaign in Aceh and directing atrocities
* Australia is stealing billions from East Timor in oil and gas revenue
and trampling on the sovereignty of the world's newest nation.
Join us in countering Indonesian government and Bush administration
efforts to lift human rights conditions on military training.
Face-to-face meetings with your Senators and Representatives are the
most effective way to advocate for human rights, not military might.
Together we can make a difference!
Please com! e to ETAN Lobby Days June 6 to 8.
Sunday, June 6 will be a full day of training in lobbying skills and
updates on East Timor, Indonesia, and Congress. On Monday and Tuesday,
June 7 and 8, we head to the halls of Congress for meetings with
Representatives and Senators. (Please plan on arriving Saturday night
and staying through Tuesday.)
Please let us know as soon as possible if you can participate in Lobby
Days. Planning for Lobby Days is substantially more effective when we
have as much advanced notice as possible of activists' participation.
Free housing can be arranged for those requesting it by May 30. Partial
travel subsidies are available on a limited basis.
For more information, contact Karen Orenstein, East Timor Action Network
Washington Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-544-6911