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Indonesia: Fear for safety / incommunicado detention

, Index number: ASA 21/083/1999

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of two brothers Muzakir bin Ustad Ahmad and Nurdin bin Ustad Ahmad, who are being held in incommunicado detention where they are believed to be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/83/99
This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 15 per section.
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
1989 and 1998. Amnesty International believes that the commission can only
be effective if it is given unrestricted access to all areas of Aceh to conduct
full and independent investigations into all human rights violations including
those since 1989, if its findings are made public and if its report leads to
the prosecution of those found responsible.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
Bahasa Indonesia, English or your own language:
- urging the authorities to ensure that Muzakir bin Ustad Ahmad and Nurdin
bin Ustad Ahmad have immediate and regular access to human rights lawyers,
their family and to medical professionals, and that they are immediately
released if they are not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence;
- urging the authorities to ensure that while in custody they are not at risk
of torture or ill-treatment.
Minister of Defence and Security
Gen. Wiranto
Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.13-14
Jakarta 10110
Telegrams:General Wiranto, Jakarta, Indonesia
Faxes:+ 62 21 381 4535 / 384 5178 (if you are unable to obtain a fax tone please
try later)
Salutation: Dear Minister
Military Commander Region I/Bukit Barisan
(covers North & West Sumatra and Aceh)
Major General Abdul Rahman Gaffar
Pangdam I/Bukit Barisan
Markas Besar KODAM I
Sumatra Utara
and to diplomatic representatives of Indonesia accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 14 September 1999.

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