PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/65/99
EXTRA 92/99 Possible “disappearance” / Fear of torture or ill- treatment 22 July 1999
INDONESIAJamaluddin Umar, aged 33, private security guard
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Jamaluddin Umar who has
“disappeared” since he was arrested on 20 July 1999 in the province of Aceh,
northern Sumatra. He could be at risk of torture, ill-treatment or death.
Jamaluddin Umar, from Meuria Paloh Village, Muara Dua Sub-district, North Aceh,
was arrested at PT Arun NGL, a natural liquified gas refinery in Blang Lancang,
near the town of Lhokseumawe in North Aceh, where he works as a security guard.
He was arrested by a joint team of soldiers from the Indonesian National Army
(TNI) and members of a riot control police unit, the PPRM (Petugas Penindak
Rusuh Massa). The reason for his arrest is not clear. All the security guards
working at the post apparently ran away as the joint security forces team
approached except for Jamaluddin Umar.
The following day his family went to the police headquarters in Lhokseumawe
but were told that he was not being detained there.
Concerns for his safety are heightened by reports that the body of a young
man who “disappeared” after he was arrested on 1 July was found by the roadside
in Meurah Mulia Sub-district in North Aceh on 5 July. Nazaruddin, 25, a trader
from Blang Ara, Kuta Makmur Sub-district, North Aceh, was arrested by PPRM
as he was on his way to his village by motorbike from Lhokseumawe. He was
apparently beaten and forced into a PPRM truck. His wife reported his arrest
to a PPRM Commander in Lhokseumawe on 3 July.
Serious human rights violations in Aceh, including “disappearances” and
unlawful killings, have increased since the end of 1998 in the course of TNI
counter-insurgency operations against the armed separatist group, Gerakan Aceh
Merdeka (GAM), Free Aceh Movement. In February 1999 at least seven people were
unlawfully killed by the TNI who fired on a march in Idi Cut, East Aceh. On
3 May, human rights monitors claimed that at least 40 people were killed in
Krueng Geukueh, Dewantara Sub-District, Aceh Utara District, when the TNI fired
on a demonstration. GAM have also been accused of committing human rights abuses.
Dozens of people have been arrested in recent months on suspicion of links
to GAM. Suspects detained by the TNI are often denied access to lawyers of
their choice and are at risk of torture or ill-treatment. Under Indonesia’s
Code of Criminal Procedures, only the police - and not the TNI - have the
authority to arrest, detain and investigate suspects.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
Bahasa Indonesia or English or your own language:
- urging the authorities to immediately establish and make public the
whereabouts of Jamaluddin Umar, and to provide guarantees for his safety;
- urging the authorities to ensure that, if he is found to be in custody, he
always has regular access to human rights lawyers, his family and to medical
professionals, and that he is immediately released if he is not to be charged
with a recognizably criminal offence.