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Indonesia: Fear for safety / possible arbitrary detention: Abdul Hanan

, Index number: ASA 21/097/1999

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Abdul Hanan who was apparently shot and taken away by a riot control police unit on 2 August 1999.

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/97/99
EXTRA 110/99 Fear for safety / Possible arbitrary detention 18 August 1999
INDONESIAAbdul Hanan, 44
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Abdul Hanan who was
apparently shot in the leg and taken away by a riot control police unit on
2 August 1999 in the province of Aceh, northern Sumatra. Many people arbitrarily
detained have been “disappeared”, tortured, ill-treated or unlawfully killed.
Abdul Hanan, from Keude Krueng Village, Kuta Makmur Sub-district, North Aceh
District, was arrested at the rice processing plant he runs in the village
after four military trucks, including troops from the PPRM (Petugas Penindak
Rusuh Massa), a riot-control police unit, arrived there. Others present at
the time ran away when they reportedly heard gunshots.
Abdul Hanan was then allegedly taken by the PPRM to a military hospital in
the town of Lhokseumawe in North Aceh. It is not known whether he is still
there or whether he is detained as a suspect.
Since late 1998, serious human rights violations in Aceh have increased in
the course of Indonesian National Army (TNI) counter-insurgency operations
against the armed opposition group, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM), Free Aceh
Movement. Dozens of people have been arrested in recent months on suspicion
of links to GAM. Suspects detained by the TNI and the PPRM 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 “disappearedor been unlawfully killed
by the security forces.
Since late 1998 the security forces in Aceh have unlawfully killed large numbers
of people. On 23 July, at least 45 people and possibly as many as 70 were 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 the people who died were unarmed
and that they were executed by the TNI.
Human rights workers claim that at least four civilians were killed when the
PPRM attacked a camp site in Bintang Kala village, Nisam Sub-district, North
Aceh, on 7 August. The PPRM, who were reportedly searching the area for GAM
members, came across a camp of civilians who were in the area searching for
wood and suspected that they were members of GAM. Three others reportedly taken
into PPRM custody were later released, apparently bearing marks of
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). The Commission is expected to conduct
investigations into human rights violations that 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 representatives.
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 faxes/express/airmail letters in Bahasa
Indonesia, English or your own language:
- urging the authorities to immediately establish and make public the
whereabouts of Abdul Hanan and to provide guarantees for his safety;
- urging the authorities to ensure that, if he is found to be in custody, he
has regular access to human rights lawyers, his family and to medical
professionals, and that he is immediately released if not to be charged with
a recognizably criminal offence.
Minister of Defence and Security
Gen. Wiranto
Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.13-14
Jakarta 10110
Faxes:+ 62 21 381 4535/ 384 5178
Salutation: Dear Minister
President Jusuf Habibie
Presiden RI
Istana Negara
Jalan Veteran
Jakarta Pusat
Faxes:+ 62 21 3904541 / 526 8726
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 15 September 1999.

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