PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/83/99
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UA 195/99 Fear for safety/Incommunicado detention 3 August 1999
INDONESIAMuzakir bin Ustad Ahmad, 39
Nurdin bin Ustad Ahmad, 35
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of the two brothers named
above, who are being held in incommunicado detention where they are believed
to be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
The two men were arrested at their home in Lhok Seutui Village, Baktiya
Sub-district, North Aceh District on 31 July 1999 by members of the Indonesian
National Army (TNI). They were arrested on suspicion of links with the armed
opposition group, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM), Free Aceh Movement.
Muzakir and Nurdin were taken in a military truck to the headquarters of the
Baktiya Sub-district Military Command (Koramil) in Alue le Puteh. The two men
are being denied access to their family and to legal counsel.
Since late 1998, serious human rights violations in Aceh have increased in
the course of TNI counter-insurgency operations against the armed separatist
group, GAM. Dozens of people have been arrested in recent months on suspicion
of links to GAM. Suspects detained by the TNI and by a riot control police
unit, the PPRM (Petugas Penindak Rusuh Massa), are often denied access to lawyers
of their choice, and are at risk of torture or ill-treatment. Many of those
taken into custody have “disappeared” or been unlawfully killed by the security
Large numbers of people have been unlawfully killed by the security forces
in Aceh since late 1998. In February 1999 at least seven people were unlawfully
killed when the TNI fired on a march in Idi Cut, East Aceh. On 3 May, human
rights monitors claimed that at least 41 people were killed in Krueng Geukueh,
Dewantara Sub-District, Aceh, when the TNI fired on a demonstration. On 23
July, at least 45 people and possibly as many as 70 were unlawfully killed
by the TNI during counter-insurgency operations in Beutong Sub-district, West
Aceh. The TNI claimed that those killed were members of GAM, but eyewitnesses
and human rights groups deny this and claim that those killed were unarmed
and were executed by the TNI.
GAM have also been accused of committing human rights abuses.
On 30 July 1999, President Habibie announced that he had established an
Independent Investigation Commission on Violence in Aceh (Komisi Independen
Pengusutan Tindak Kekerasan di Aceh) which is expected to conduct investigations
into human rights violations which have occurred since August 1998, and to
submit a report within six months, including recommendations on legal measures,
rehabilitation and reconciliation. The commission is apparently made up of
27 people, including members of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights
(Komnas HAM), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics and government
However, the commission has not been given a mandate to investigate human rights
violations which occurred during TNI counter-insurgency operations between