SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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HUMAN RIGHTS IN INDONESIA
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
MAY 7, 1998
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL ''MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
JOHN McHUGH, New York
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCLEE HAMILTON, Indiana
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD BERMAN, California
GARY ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVE ROTHMAN, New Jersey
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DAN BURTON, Indiana
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
PETER T. KING, New York
MATT SALMON, Arizona
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
TOM LANTOS, California
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
GROVER JOSEPH REES, Subcommittee Staff Director and Chief Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Professional Staff Member
DOUGLAS C. ANDERSON, Counsel
CATHERINE DUBOIS, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Dr. Stephanie G. Fried, Scientist, International Program, Environmental Defense Fund
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Constancio Pinto, United States and United Nations Representative, National Council of Maubere (East Timor) Resistance
Mr. Jafar S. Hamzah, former staff attorney, Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation
Mr. Pius Lustrilanang, Indonesian Democracy Advocate
Ms. Aryati, Indonesian Human Rights Researcher/Activist
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey and Chairman, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
Dr. Stephanie G. Fried
Mr. Constancio Pinto
Mr. Jafar S. Hamzah, plus attachments
Mr. Pius Lustrilanang, plus attachments
Additional material submitted for the record:
INFID, International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development, submitted by the RFK Center for Human Rights
Accounting for the Environment, Environmental Defense Fund, May 8, 1998
Human Rights Watch, Statement on Human Rights in Indonesia, May 7, 1998
Letter from 55 NGOs from 19 countries to IMF Managing Director, Michel Camdessus, and World Bank President, James D. Wolfensohn
April 29, 1998, Re: Bisnis Keluarga Empat menko: Fiesal Tanjung, Haryono Suyono, Ginajar, dan Hartarto
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHUMAN RIGHTS IN INDONESIA
THURSDAY, MAY 7, 1998
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights,
Committee on International Relations,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:04 p.m., in room 2220, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher H. Smith (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. SMITH. [presiding] Good afternoon, and first of all, I want to apologize for the room change and for any inconvenience it may have provided to any of you, but this, I think, lends itself to those who wanted to be here, so I do thank you for coming.
Today's hearing, ladies and gentlemen, is on human rights in Indonesia. I hope our witnesses will address three fundamental questions.
First, is it true, as human rights advocates in our own State Department have suggested, that agents of the Government of Indonesia routinely engage in torture, extrajudicial executions, and other gross violations of fundamental human rights?
Second, is the U.S. policy toward Indonesia helping or hurting the situation?
Third, are the massive infusions of money from the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions likely to help the people of Indonesia or will they further enrich and empower the governing class?
The U.S. State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997 reported politically motivated extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests, and imprisonment in Indonesia. The report notes that abuses have historically been particularly numerous in East Timor, Irian Jaya, and Aceh, three areas in which there have been strong independence movements. The report notes, and I quote, ''There are few signs of judicial independence, and that the courts were used against political activists and government critics rather than to punish officials who unlawfully harm the people.'' There are severe restrictions, as the report points out, on the freedom of speech, on the freedom of assembly, and on the freedom of religion.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Despite this dismal record, our government has made clear that the top priority in its relationship with Indonesia is trade and investment, not political reform or human rights protection. Even after the 1991 massacre in Dili, East Timor, in which security forces killed hundreds of peaceful mournersincluding children in their school uniformsin a Catholic cemetery, our government continued to lavish assistance, including military assistance, on Jakarta.
You know, I pored over the documentation on human rights abuses by the Suharto dictatorship, as well as his and his family's personal corruption, and their enrichment, the billions of dollars they have gleaned from their people at the expense of their poor. And I can't help but see a compelling parallel with Mobutu in Zaire. The inescapable conclusion is Suharto is the Mobutu of Asia.
I am particularly shocked to learn recently that the United States has been providing combat training to Indonesian military units, including some who were involved with the massacre. This appears to be a dramatic end-run about the rules Congress carefully prescribed for military training and the education of Indonesian forces in an effort to ensure that we would not provide them with the means of carrying out further massacres.
Year after year the Administration has assured Congress that the provision of international military education and training to Indonesia is strictly limited to the so-called expanded IMET curriculum, classroom training in human rights and related subjects. We have also been assured that there is no way the Indonesian military could use any of this training against the people of East Timor, or against political, religious dissenters in Indonesia itself.
To provide training and marksmanship, psy opspsychological warfaresniper training, and related subjects to some of the very units that have brutalized the people of East Timor is an obvious violation of this assurance.
This revelation is eerily reminiscent of a similar situation in Rwanda, where the United States has provided marksmanship, psy ops, and similar training to the Rwandan Patriotic Army through the JCET program during the very period in which the RPA appears to have been engaged in the mass killings of refugees across the border in Zaire.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At a December 1996 hearing, I was assured that our assistance to the RPA consisted of what the Department of Defense spokesman called the kinder, gentler side of military training, focused on respect for human rights. We found out about the marksmanship or the psy ops about 8 months later. The Administration has still not been able to determine whether any of those soldiers who took our marksmanship course subsequently participated in the killing of refugees.
In the last 5 years, the U.S. Special Operations forces have conducted at least 41 training exercises with the Indonesian military, at a cost of more than $3.5 million to the U.S. taxpayer. Based on the information provided to Congress so far, it appears that the trainees, in most of these exercises, were Indonesia's elite Kopassus special forces, the arm of the military accused of committing the gravest human rights violations against that regime's political opponents.
The lethal skills taught during those exercises have included close-quarters combat, sniper skills, marksmanship, combat patrolling, small unit tactics, and military operations in urban terrain.
Even before the U.S. training was publicly disclosed, those were exactly the skills identified by Amnesty International as ''likely to be used in the context of counterinsurgency operations which may lead to human rights violations in Indonesia.''
Since this training has come to light, the Administration has emphasized the benefit to U.S. forces as a justification for those activities. But it is obvious that, in the words of the former commanding general of the Pacific Special Operations Command, this special forces training also ''improves the capability of the host nation'' and, to continue his statement, ''demonstrates the U.S. military's commitment to the Indonesian regime.''
We need a simple and transparent set of rules to govern all of our military education programs. The first rule, however, should be that the United States does not give any kind of military assistance whatever to governments that murder their own people.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, the world needs to know what is happening to the billions and billions of dollars it is pouring into Indonesia in response to the ongoing economic crisis. It is no secret that the vast majority of these dollars are going into the coffers of the government itself and of large-scale economic enterprises that helped create the crisis in the first place.
Supporters of the IMF package for Indonesia argue that, in return for the money, the government and the economic system will reform themselves. They also argue that without a restoration of financial stability there will be no political reform and human rights will be at greater risk than ever.
Skeptics argue that the brunt of the reforms in the IMF package, such as reductions in the government subsidies for food and fuel, will fall on the poor. They fear that the bailout will enrich and empower the Indonesian Government and the large-scale economic enterprises, many of them owned by members of the armed forces and/or the President's family, and that in the end there will be more of the same kind of behavior that led to the economic problems in the first place.
It seems even less likely that the IMF and the World Bank assistance will lead to political reform, since the bank and the IMF themselves insist they cannot insist on political conditions, not even the protection of fundamentally and internationally recognized human rights as a condition on loans or other assistance.
Finally, just let me say that I am very pleased that four of our five witnesses today are democracy and human rights activists from Indonesia, East Timor, and Aceh. I hope that these witnesses, and also Dr. Stephanie Fried of the Environmental Defense Fund, will help us understand how the Government of Indonesia really works, and what levers we should be using to get the government to respect human rights, and whether the current and proposed U.S. international actions will be helpful or harmful.
I had hoped that the Administration would send witnesses to this hearing, but they cited scheduling conflicts. We have asked them to tell us exactly when their witnesses can come and we will hold the second part of this hearing on whatever day and at whatever hour they choose. Congress and the American people have a right to know what our government is doing in Indonesia and why.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I'd like to ask our very distinguished witnesses at this point if they would begin with their statements and to proceed in order.
First, let me introduce Dr. Stephanie Fried who has worked on Indonesian environmental and social issues since 1984. A graduate of Cornell University and Bryn Mawr College, she spent 5 1/2 years in Indonesia. Currently she is staff scientist and policy analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund where she specializes in Southeast Asian Natural Resources issues.
The next witness, Constancio Pinto, is the National Council of Maubere resistance representative to the United States and United Nations for East Timor. He left his country in 1992 after surviving the Santa Cruz massacre. Prior to that he endured detention and torture at the hands of the Indonesian military.
Third will be Jafar S. Hamzah. He is an attorney from Sumatra, Indonesia. He was formerly an officer of the branch of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation in Jakarta. His specialties are Indonesia law and international human rights law.
The next witness to appear before the Committee is Ms. Aryati. She's an Indonesian human rights researcher and activist. Because of concerns for her safety, she is testifying today under a pseudonym. And I would ask, and we've already asked and the press has agreed, that they will maintain the confidentiality of her being.
And, finally, we will hear from Pius Lustrilanang, a coordinator of a coalition supporting opposition leader, Megawati Sukarnoputri. And he was abducted by the Indonesian Government in February, endured detention and torture for 2 months in a prison on Java. He is the first recently disappeared Indonesian activist to go public with his experience and, in so doing, does it at great risk to himself.
I would ask Dr. Fried if she could begin, and please feel free to be expansive because this is an extremely important hearing and we need to hear any information that you convey to the Subcommittee.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF STEPHANIE G. FRIED, SCIENTIST, INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
Ms. FRIED. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman and honorable Members of the House, it is a great honor to testify before you in the company of courageous Indonesian citizens who, at great personal risk, have come here in order to present you with a full and open account of their experiences and their ideas. Some of them have been illegally detained and tortured, an all too common occurrence in Indonesia.
Others wish simply to express their thoughts freely, an exercise which is often met with harsh repression.
My name is Stephanie Fried and I am a staff scientist and policy analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization with over 300,000 members. I have conducted research on Indonesian environmental and social issues since 1984.
I would like to draw your attention to concerns about the IMF and World Bank efforts in Indonesia, concerns which have been raised by EDF and 54 other environmental, development, and human rights organizations representing over 6 million members and supporters in 19 countries, including Indonesia.
There is a very real opportunity now to promote reform in Indonesia, as well as in the multilateral financial institutions. If this opportunity is not taken, there is the potential for a great deal of damage to and suffering on the part of the people of Indonesia who will have to repay the loans incurred by the Suharto Government.
I would like to talk to you about three things. First, the current structure of the Indonesian economy and the implications for privatization programs under these conditions. Second, the serious environmental and human rights implications as the IMF and World Bank push for the expansion of the palm oil sector. Third, overarching concerns about the need for greater transparency, civil service reform, and greater accountability in the IMF and World Bank reform package.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The IMF should be given credit for being the only multilateral development bank to make the breakup of Indonesia's corrupt economically, socially, and environmentally destructive monopolies a prerequisite for the disbursement of funds. This represents a significant opportunity for reform, if acted upon.
Without sufficient follow through on the part of the IMF, however, there will continue to be substantial economic losses and social costs as a result of these monopolies. Unfortunately, the IMF's initially encouraging declarations on the monopolies have been followed by repeated IMF announcements, apparently echoing Indonesian governmental claims that the monopolies and cartels have been abolished.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Commerce, and in Indonesia's Samizdat Press on the Internet, there are clear signs that the IMF-mandate of the breakup of the monopolies and cartels has not succeeded. The disbanding of these monopolies must be a litmus test for determining whether further disbursements of IMF, World Bank, ADB, and other public funds, not those intended for direct poverty relief, I should add, should be made in Indonesia.
In addition, the World Bank has informed us that the structural and sectoral adjustment loans currently planned for Indonesia are not bound by existing Bank social and environmental regulations. We call for existing World Bank environmental and social policies and procedures to be applied directly to structural adjustment loans.
We call for a halt to plans for the rapid disbursement of large World Bank loans to the Indonesian Government. There is currently an additional $2 billion slated for release within the next few weeks.
A halt to the rapid disbursement of such loans which are not subject to Bank standard, environmental, and social policies, including transparency, public information, effects on indigenous peoples and resettlement, unless these loans are purely for direct poverty alleviation.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There are clear indications, including the makeup of Indonesia's newly appointed cabinet, that the Suharto Government has no intention of lessening the stranglehold of the Suharto family and friends on the country's economic life. A report just released by Dr. George Aditjondro, an Indonesia professor at Newcastle University in Australia, details the corrupt activities of four of the lesser known Indonesian ministers in the new cabinet. Dr. Aditjondro's report includes reports on the transfer of $50 million to a Singapore financial institution by an individual who shortly thereafter was appointed to be a minister in the new cabinet; reports of the transfer of ministry-controlled trade to factories owned by a new minister's son; and by the same minister, the transfer of trade from a parastatal entity to a factory owned by a son of Suharto, as well as extensive business links between other new ministers and conglomerates associated with Suharto relatives.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to present you with an example of how privatization works in Indonesia. According to the Wall Street Journal, in February, control over the Jakarta water supply was removed from a state agency to the private sector. This meant that Mr. Suharto's grandson, Ari Sigit, and the son of one of Mr. Suharto's closest business allies, Mr. Liem Sioe Liong, gained control over the Jakarta supply. They then announced that water prices would be raised an average of 25 percent.
Next I will address the privatization and expansion of the oil palm sector in Indonesia.
The January 1998 IMF letter of intent, signed with Indonesia, called for the removal of all formal and informal barriers to foreign investment in palm oil plantations. The World Bank is currently preparing a $1-billion sectoral adjustment loan, a significant portion of which is intended to support the privatization of the oil palm sector. We have already heard what privatization implies under the current economic structure of Indonesia.
The Indonesian forest fires of 1997 and 1998, for the most part purposefully set, are one of the greatest environmental disasters of this century. These devastating fires spread poisonous smoke over 6 countries, caused over $3 billion in health, transport, and trade damages, and affected the health of over 50 million people. At the height of the fires, breathing the air in Malaysia was the equivalent of smoking five packs of cigarettes a day.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, officially sanctioned plantations were largely blamed for these fires. According to Senator Max Baucus, who visited Indonesia last year during the burning season, the fires were ''caused largely by Malaysian and Indonesian timber companies clearing land for palm oil plantations, in violation of Indonesian law.''
Senator Baucus continued, ''Few of these companies have suffered any significant punishment and most people I met were pessimistic about the chances that this would change anytime soon.''
The IMF letter of intent mandates the expansion of Indonesia's palm oil sector through the removal of barriers to foreign investment, a move likely to bring about a recurrence and intensification of the worst fires of the century with accompanying economic and social costs.
In addition to the human suffering brought on by the fires, plantation establishment in Indonesia commonly involves substantial violations of basic human rights. Plantation establishment often begins with the forced seizure and clear-cutting of forested territories inhabited by indigenous people and other forest dwellers.
With the loss of their food supplies and forest-based income, local communities are often severely impoverished as a result. If they dare to protest or question the clear-cutting of their productive forest gardens and fields, even if only to request that the companies operate outside of the regions necessary for local food self-sufficiency, the security forces are immediately called in.
The 1996 State Department Report on Human Rights Practices in Indonesia documented the activities of security forces against village leaders who attempted to prevent a powerful plantation company from clear-cutting their forest garden in Indonesian Borneo.
According to the report, 14 village leaders were ''stripped, repeatedly beaten, kicked, and pistol whipped, and some were burned with cigarettes.''
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC According to a report received 3 weeks ago from Aceh Sumatra, from the Aceh Sumatra NGO Forum, on April 13, 1998, six people were shot by police in a conflict with local villagers at an oil palm plantation company which had seized and destroyed their productive lands. Forty people were arrested and over 100 fled the region.
Therefore, in the absence of meaningful, enforceable, environmental, and social conditionality tied explicitly into the IMF and World Bank loan disbursement schedules, we call for a halt in any direct or indirect encouragement by the Breton Woods Institution for the expansion or privatization of the Indonesian palm oil sector.
Loan conditionalities should include standard, social, environmental, and transparency requirements, in addition to the prerequisite of an open transparent and participatory system of land-use planning, one which recognizes land and forest tenures of indigenous forest communities.
Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, I would like to share with you the concerns of major Indonesian civil society organizations about the need for greater transparency, civil service reform, and accountability across the board during the implementation of the IMF and World Bank packages.
For years the World Bank has described its involvement in Indonesia as a model of success to be emulated in other developing countries, despite persistent criticism of the lack of financial transparency within Indonesia, astonishing levels of corruption, and indications that a substantial portion of bank funds invested there, as much as 30 percent, remain unaccounted for.
In February, decrying the fact that the bank ignored Indonesia's obvious corruption and alliance on the use of force to control its population, INFID, an association of over 100 Indonesian and foreign NGOs, concluded that if the current crisis continues, the percent of Indonesia's population in poverty, after decades of World Bank intervention, will be approximately equivalent to the poverty levels of 1967.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Meanwhile, however, the nation's natural resource base has been devastated by unsustainable exploitation at the hands of a corrupt and internationally-supported government and Indonesia's debt burden has grown to $65 billion from $2.1 billion in 1996.
In a statement released today, and just put into my hands 10 minutes ago, INFID, the international NGO forum in Indonesia, states that no one believes that economic stability can be restored without fundamental political change that involves respect for fundamental rights, clear checks on executive power, full accountability of public officials, an end of corruption and nepotism, and the ability of ordinary Indonesians to participate fully in political life.
International financial institutions have attempted to separate economic and political power in Indonesia. Such an approach is infeasible and is indeed in part responsible for the current crisis. INFID believes that lasting economic reform can only take place in conjunction with fundamental political reform.
In March, Muchtar Pakpahan, the jailed leader of SBSI, an independent Indonesian labor union, told visiting Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth that, ''Washington should not give aid to Jakarta until President Suharto implements reform; political, social, and economic reforms.''
In April, the directors of the Indonesian Economic Think Tank, Econit, publicly stated that ''the IMF reform package would very unlikely address the main cause of the crisis, mainly free and unbridled crony capitalism.''
WALHI, Indonesia's largest environmental organization issued a press release decrying the repressive statements and actions of military and civilian officials. The Indonesian Legal Foundation, an organization of courageous lawyers dedicated to supporting a rule of law in Indonesia, called on the Indonesian civilian government and the armed forces to ensure the success of the IMF program by, among other things, guaranteeing the right to assemble, freedom of association, freedom of union, and the right to express opinion.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC ''Only with these freedoms, will the people truly be able to help themselves and to lighten the burden of the government in overcoming this crisis.''
According to INFID, the World Bank, and I would add the IMF, has ''ignored the political and institutional dimensions of development which include the development of the rule of law, the recognition of human rights, effective democratic mechanisms and structures which can produce an accountable government, and effective social control which can actually enhance the economic development process.''
The Jakarta office of the IMF has not responded to written requests made by the major Indonesian civil society organizations for meetings to discuss the planned bail-out package. It took us at EDF 2 months to secure a 1-hour meeting with the U.S. executive director of the IMF, a meeting, which I might add, did not adequately address our concerns.
Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, we call for the Bank and the Fund to ensure that loans to Indonesia during the current crisis are accompanied by rigorous, monitorable, enforceable measures to promote civil service reform, greater financial accountability and transparency, and respect for good governance, and human rights.
The World Bank should follow its own public information policy in the proposed $1-billion adjustment loans, and all other loans in the current crisis.
We urge the IMF and the World Bank to promote the establishment of an independent anticorruption commission to prevent leakage of funds and to work toward the creation of a clean and accountable government bureaucracy.
Finally, the IMF should undertake long overdue reforms to ensure transparency and public access to information concerning its activities. The IMF should make publicly available the Article IV consultations, evaluation, audit documents, interim committee, development committee documents. Staff country reports should also be made publicly available following board discussion of such documents, as should the minutes of board meetings.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the case of Indonesia the Fund should respond to repeated requests by Indonesian and other civil society organizations and NGOs for direct meetings in Indonesia and abroard.
The Fund should also undertake major reforms to promote a more participatory open process and involve elements of civil society in the formulation of its policies and recommendations for borrowing nations.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Fried appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Dr. Fried, thank you very much for your very comprehensive statement and the multiple recommendations that you have made which I think will be very helpful to the Subcommittee as we try to chart a course in the coming days, weeks, and months, vis a vis, Indonesia, the IMF, and all of the related institutions.
Let me, before yielding to our next witness, Constancio Pinto, I'd like to ask Mr. Sherman if he has any opening comments.
Mr. SHERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to make some opening comments and for your wisdom in holding these hearings.
We're, I think, aware of the crony capitalism, the human rights violations, the absence of democracy, and the repression of the people of East Timor. What I hope that we learn from these hearings is what we, as Members of Congress, can do about it.
What was presented to us on the Banking Committee, on which I also serve, was a bill to provide additional American funds to the IMF, up or down. The Treasury Department has not worked with us to give Congress any particular control over what actions the IMF will take. I am very reluctant to put the IMF in a position where it cannot help the people of South Korea, who are moving forward with democracy, or the people of Thailand. At the same time we want to make sure that human rights and the other issues I mentioned are dealt with in Indonesia.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, so the first issue is, what can we do to influence IMF policy in Indonesia without adversely affecting South Korea and Thailand?
The second issue is, what can the IMF do? It is easy to say they should insist upon this or insist upon that, but basically the government in Jakarta has 200 million hostages. If crony capitalism is severely threatened, they have the opportunity to say, well, then you will face instability. Let us tell you about the half a million people who died in these islands in the 1960's. Do you want that kind of instability again? How many hundreds of thousands of deaths can be reported on CNN before you relent? And give us the money.
And I would hope witnesses would address the issue of whether there's a soft-landing opportunity here. Whether there's a way to prod the Indonesian Government toward moving toward liberalization without being faced with the stark issue that even if we could, as a Congress, influence the IMF to withhold aid from Indonesia, under certain circumstances whether we could devise a set of circumstances or requirements that on the one hand would improve human rights in Indonesia and on the other hand would not lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths as a result of civil disturbances.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, very much, Mr. Sherman.
STATEMENT OF CONSTANCIO PINTO, UNITED STATES AND UNITED NATIONS REPRESENTATIVE, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF MAUBERE (EAST TOMOR) RESISTANCE
Mr. PINTO. Mr. Chairman, distinguished Member of U.S. Congress, ladies and gentlemen, first of all, allow me to express my profound gratitude to this prestigious body in allowing me to address before you problems of violations of human rights that my people and my country have endured for almost 23 years under Indonesia's illegal and brutal occupation.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My name is Constancio Pinto. I am Timorese. I was born in East Timor and raised in East Timor. I escaped into the United States in 1993.
East Timor is a small country. Its size is relatively equal to the size of the state of Massachusetts. The population of East Timor is 850,000 people. For more than 400 years, East Timor was under Portuguese colonial rule. East Timor economically is self-sufficient. It has oil, natural gas, and agricultural goods. As a colonized people, the East Timorese have aspired to individual freedom and liberty, the same as the people of this great country aspired to centuries ago during the British colonization.
Thus, in 1975, the East Timorese decided to declare independence from Portugal. However, because of greed and power, the independence of the small nation of East Timor could not survive.
On December 7, 1975, Indonesia launched a bloody invasion of East Timor. The invasion was an act of aggression and violated international law and the U.N. resolution 1415 (XV), which strongly observed the right to self-determination of every people under colonial rule.
The invasion of East Timor was comparable to the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's armed forces which slaughtered hundreds of unarmed civilians.
I was 12 years old at the time when Indonesia invaded East Timor. In East Timor more than 60,000 civilians of different ethnic groups, Timorese, Chinese, Portuguese, and Australian, and different ages, including children and old men and women, were killed. They were killed inside their houses, they were dropped into the ocean, and they were dropped alive from helicopters.
I survived the massacre and escaped into the jungle with my parents. In the jungle we faced tremendous suffering, mass slaughter, and starvation perpetrated by the Indonesian army. As a result of the direct invasion and illegal occupation of East Timor, over 200,000 people have died. They died of mass slaughter, starvation, and torture in jail. As many other young Timorese, my life has been affected by the Indonesian invasion.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In 1991, at the age of 28 years old, I was arrested by the Indonesian police and intelligence and I was tortured from 9 o'clock in the morning until 1 o'clock in the morning of the next day. The torture was immeasurable. They kicked my stomach and my knees with boots, they punched my head and pointed the gun at my head and threatened to kill me and all of my family. The intensity of torture was beyond human understanding.
Even though they saw I was bleeding everywhere from my nose, my mouth, and my ears, they still tortured me. At one point, two of the Indonesian special forces, the Kopassus, threatened to throw me alive into the sea. This method of torture is one of many systematic methods of torture carried out by the Indonesian special forces, Kopassus.
This unit is one of the worst Indonesian armed forces in East Timor. They are the ones that tortured me and continued to do so to other Timorese.
Mr. Chairman, allow me to share with you other related stories that happened to two of my friends, Domingos Seixas and Henrique Belmiro. Domingos Seixas was sentenced to 12 years in prison. On the day when he was arrested, he was dropped into the ocean with his neck tied up into a heavy rock. For some reason, the rock slipped away and Domingos survived the attempted drowning. Domingos was taken to prison where his genital organ was electrocuted. What happened to me and Domingos was incomparable to what happened to Henrique Belmiro, another friend. On the day Belmiro was arrested, his finger and toe nails were pulled out with pliers during the interrogation. All of these atrocities were committed by the Kopassus.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to express in this forum my disappointment with the training of Kopassus carried out by the U.S. Army and Air Force units in Indonesia under the Joint Combined Exchange Training, JCET, program. The United States should stop all types of military support to a dictator that for 33 years has continuously committed gross human rights violations in defiance of the universal declaration of human rights. Training Indonesian Kopassus and all Indonesian troops is just like training Saddam Hussein's troops.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Not to speak of the suffering enduring by the Timorese women. Often the Timorese women were raped in front of their husbands, boyfriends, friends, and families. There are thousands of Timorese women who were subjected to forced sterilization through the implementation of the Indonesian family planning program, KB. According to Miranda Sissions, a graduate student from Yale University, almost all injections of contraceptives were covertly given to women under the guise of vaccinations. Many Timorese women believed that these injections could permanently sterilize them.
Mr. Chairman, today the Indonesian army has turned its attention on East Timorese youth. Today, the Indonesian army does not view the danger as coming from a handful of the guerilla fighters in the jungle but the youth in the cities. All peaceful actions and freedom of speech and assembly are considered politically dangerous. Thus, peaceful actions encounter military repression. One of the prominent examples of the repression against peaceful actions was the Santa Cruz massacre which occurred in 1991 where more than 271 people were gunned down in cold blood.
Those who were wounded were taken into hospitals and later some of their heads were smashed with rocks and others were injected with lethal injections. More than a hundred people were killed this way. Until today there has not been an independent investigation of the massacre. Those who were responsible for the massacre were sentenced to 6 months.
The organizers of the peaceful actions were sentenced to 9 years to life imprisonment, such as in the case of Grigorio Sandanha who was sentenced to life imprisonment. Such repression forced hundreds of young Timorese to leave their homeland. From 1995 to this day, more than 200 young Timorese have successfully escaped to Portugal, leaving their families back home. Hundreds more endured constant persecution.
Mr. Chairman, to conclude, I would like to reiterate that human rights violations such as torture, rape, persecution, arbitrary disappearances, executions, and imprisonment in East Timor have become the daily bread of the East Timorese people.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Timorese want just one thing: that is our right to self-determination be recognized. Let us freely choose whatever we want to be, be it an independent state, integration into Indonesia, or an association with another country. To achieve this, the role of the United States is vital.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Pinto appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your very moving statement, for bearing witness to the atrocities that you yourself and some of your friends have suffered because we need to hear who it is that we are supporting, who it is that when we engage in diplomatic niceties, what he does when he and his people are in a different venue and a different setting and that is torture.
And, again, as I said in my opening statement, there seems to be very little doubt about the prevalence and the intensity and the horrific nature of the use of torture in Indonesia by the Suharto dictatorship. What I find so unbelievably baffling and dismaying is how our own government can chronicle these atrocities in the Country Reports, completely ratified and backed up by other independent human rights organizations and by eyewitnesses and victims, like yourself, and then turn around and so subordinate those issues to become nonexistent.
So, I do thank you for your very incisive words and for bearing witness to the truth.
I'd like to ask Mr. Hamzah if he would make his presentation at this point.
STATEMENT OF JAFAR SIDDIQ HAMZAH, FORMER STAFF ATTORNEY, INDONESIAN LEGAL AID FOUNDATION
Mr. HAMZAH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and honorable Members of the House, and ladies and gentlemen.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First of all, I would like to thank all of you for giving me a chance to testify in this hearing. Suharto, after being in power for 32 years, now finds himself in a very difficult political situation. Even though he continues to control political power in his hands in a real sense, in the past few months the strength of the opposition forces that want to bring an end to his authoritarian rule has grown immensely. I feel certain and I have strong hope that in the next few months, Suharto will be increasingly marginalized, if not overthrown through a people-power revolution altogether.
A historical analysis of Suharto's 32-year rule reveals that he is a political figure who reacts violently to criticism and to challenges against his authority. He is not one to reform his policies in response to criticism. On the contrary, Suharto and the new order regime respond to internal and international criticism not only in a defense manner, but through overt military violence, on a psychological level, the most pernicious form of intimidation of civilians to bow the military force. The bloody events in history that occurred during his rule are too numerous to enumerate. Among them are the tragedy of 1965, in which about 1 million suspected Communists were mercilessly executed, imprisoned and persecuted; the Malari student riots in 1974; Tanjung Priok in 1984; East Timor; Aceh; Warside Lampung; the mysterious killings known as Petrus from 1982 to 1983; and many other cases.
Members of the government and armed forces who are responsible for these atrocities and who ought to have been put to trial for their crimes, not only continue to stay in power, but through Suharto's support have entrenched themselves in their crony positions even deeper and do not feel accountable to anyone.
I wish to present a few facts about the political violence in Aceh, in North Sumatra, where I come from. In the past few months, the Malaysian Government, in close collaboration with the Indonesian Government, undertook a forced repatriation policy of thousands of Acehnese who are victims of political persecution, but who were never granted political refugee status in Malaysia.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the past few weeks, as a consequence of the force repatriation policy, 24 Acehnese people were killed by Malaysian police. In addition, 27 of them were executed extrajudicially after arriving in Aceh. Five-hundred-forty-five or more other political refugees who were forcibly repatriated are being held in Rancong, Aceh, a Kopassus Special Forces Military Camp known as a torture site.
On April 10, 35 Acehnese sought political asylum in different foreign embassies in Malaysia, including 8 going to the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the other to the Swiss, French, and Brunei embassies; 14 others to UNHRC in Kuala Lumpur.
With regard to the violent forcible repatriation of Acehnese undertaken by the Malaysian and Indonesian Government working together, I wish to make the following recommendations to the U.S. Congress and the international community.
First. The thousands of Acehnese in Malaysia who are being forcibly repatriated are not illegal immigrants, but political refugees who fled Aceh because of the extremely repressive socio-political situation very similar to that of East Timor and West Papua. Aceh continues to be a special region for military operations. Since 1989, during the intensification of military counter-insurgency, thousands of civilians have been killed. These human rights violations are very well documented by international organizations, including the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation where I worked as a human rights lawyer for 7 years, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch or Asia Watch.
The refugees are caught in a cycle of daily humiliation and violence. Because of institutionalized state violence and repressive counter-insurgency measures, again the supporters of the independence movement, Aceh Merdeka, many Acehnese flee by boat to Malaysia, without official passports or immigration papers. In Malaysia, they are not granted refugee status, but put in detention camps, or hunted down by police as illegal aliens. In Indonesia they are branded as terrorists or GPK, Aceh Merdeka, and tortured, disappeared, or executed extrajudicially. Worse of all, they are not able to leave Malaysia legally, because they do not even have passports.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Second, we strongly recommend the formation of an international human rights team, under the auspices of the United Nations, to conduct an independent investigation of the political situation in Aceh, and the inhuman treatment of refugees in Malaysia. Acehnese should not be forced to return to Aceh where it is certain that they will be killed, tortured, or persecuted by the Indonesian military, until such time that fundamental changes occur and Acehnese can live in their own land free of fear. Most importantly, that the status of Aceh as a Special Region for Military Operations is ended.
Third, we strongly urge the U.S. Government to grant political asylum to the Acehnese in the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and to those who are seeking asylum here in the United States, who will most definitely be the targets of political repression, if not execution, if they are sent home. Based on the background I have provided, I wish to make a strong plea to Members of the U.S. Congress to recognize the political refugee status of Acehnese fleeing Indonesia and grant them asylum status.
Fourth, put pressure on the United Nations and other international human rights commissions to form an investigative team and open an UNHCR office in Aceh to focus specially on monitoring human rights violations in this region.
Fifth, bring the Malaysian Government to an international court of justice and make it publicly accountable for its illegal actions against refugees resulting in the death of 24 Acehnese and violating international human rights laws.
Thank you very much for your time and patience.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hamzah appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Hamzah, thank you very much for, again, not only chronicling the program, but also providing some very concrete steps that the U.S. Government and other governments who are interested can take, so I do appreciate that.
And I think you will be pleased to know that our Subcommittee has been in touch with the UNHRC and the PRM Bureau of the U.S. Government, Population, Refugee, and Migration Bureau, about the Aceh refugees in Malaysia and we've asked them to resist forcible repatriation and we're also trying, and we will follow up on this to make sure that there are some, at least some, who could come here and be resettled. I think we do far less than what we are capable of here in the United States, not just from Indonesia, but in other parts of the world. We are very miserly in our acceptance of refugees, regrettably, and, as you probably know, something on the order of 7 percent of our immigration flow, 8 percent, happen to be refugees and there are those who would like to see that number go down.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I personally and our Subcommittee has tried to ratchet that number up and so we will follow up on your recommendation, I can assure you.
I would like to ask our next witness, Mr. Lustrilanang, if he could present his testimony now and then we'll go to our final witness.
STATEMENT OF PIUS LUSTRILANANG, INDONESIAN DEMOCRACY ADVOCATE
Mr. LUSTRILANANG. Mr. Chairman and honorable Members of the House, it is a great honor to be able to testify in front of this august body and I want to thank you all for this opportunity. My name is Pius Lustrilanang, and I am an active member of the pro-democracy movement in Indonesia.
I regard myself as fortunate to be able to testify in front of you. I was kidnapped, held for 2 months, and released. Other victims who were held together with me have disappeared without trace. In my language we differentiate between hilang and dihilangkan. The first term means to disappear and the second term, dihilangkan, is the active form, the translation of which is to make disappear.
I am fortunate that I no longer belong to the category of those who were made to disappear. When, on February 4, 1998 I was taken to the place of detention, which was also a torture center, one of the kidnappers told me, ''There are no laws here and no human rights. You simply have to answer all our questions. And remember, some people come out of this place alive and some as corpses. If you want to stay alive, you better behave.''
My release is the result of domestic and international pressures and also the wide exposures in the domestic and international press. I want to use this opportunity to thank all the human rights organizations, NGOs, and individuals all around the world that have campaigned for me.
My gratitude goes also to those governments that have made representations to the Indonesian Government. My sincere gratitude to all the members of the press who have put disappearances on the international agenda. I speak on behalf of many others, including many of my close friends, who are still held in detention.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, giving testimony like this is not without risk. It took me more than a week of consideration before I decided to go public. In fact, I'm the first Indonesian victim of disappearances to have done so. We all received death threats, not only to ourselves, but even worse, to our next of kin and the other detainees. Our abductors warned us that if we told our stories it would have nasty consequences. I drew the conclusion that giving a full account of my 2-month disappearance was worth the risk. It also serves as protections for myself and my family. Exposing myself might also accelerate the release of the other detainees.
I was kidnapped on February 4 while waiting for public transport in front of the general hospital in Jakarta. Suddenly, somebody with a pistol told me to get into a car. Another three persons were sitting in the car. They immediately handcuffed and blindfolded me. We drove in the direction of Bogor and after approximately a 1-hour drive, we arrived at the place where I was held for 2 months.
The prison compound was quite modern. In the section where I was held there were six cells, two rows of three cells, complete with a detector camera. In the 2 months I was held, I never saw my kidnappers. Either I was blindfolded or they were hooded. But being able to see the eyes of the various people who delivered my food, I was able to distinguish at least a dozen different people.
The first 3 days were the worst. They gave me electric shock, kicked, and hit me all over my body. I was put in a tub of water and my head was pushed down over and over again. At that time I thought I would never survive. I was in the hands of professionals. They did everything as part of a routine.
The main thrust of the interrogations was about my activities as coordinator of SIAGA, a loose coalition to support Megawati and Amien Rais, the two main opposition figures. What was the strategy of SIAGA, who else participated in the preparation of actions, and so on. It became obvious to me that the kidnappers were safeguarding President Suharto's reelection in March. All stumbling blocks, people like me, had to be removed. The ones that were mutually detained with me in the same block had the same background. This period is one of the worst periods in the history of the Suharto regime. Hundreds of arrests took place, at least a dozen others were kidnapped like me, and an extra 35,000 troops were stationed in the capital, Jakarta. Holding a peaceful protest in the streets of Jakarta became a virtual impossibility.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do not possess definite proof about the identification of my kidnappers. I do not believe that they were part of any organized crime gang or any of the pro-government political groupings. Everything was far too professional. Sometimes I was able to communicate with the other detainees to compare our experiences. All evidence suggests that we were in the hands of the armed forces. Every afternoon around 3 o'clock I heard the sound of a trumpet, for roll call. The clearest evidence was on the day of my release on the morning of April 3. One of the officers revealed that he was an AKABRI, armed forces academy, graduate. Actually, he was the one who gave me a final dose of electric shock before my release. ''As a token of remembrance,'' he said.
The top officials of ABRI, the Indonesian armed forces, have categorically denied their involvement in kidnappings. Commander-in-Chief, and concurrently Minister of Defense, General Wiranto and local territorial commanders have said this in public. Police officers do not wear hoods during interrogation. From deducting the facts there is a high probability of the involvement of a special unit within ABRI. I want to remind this Subcommittee that in the Indonesian political system, the head of state is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.
On April 27, I made a full report in front of the Indonesian National Commission of Human Rights. I came abroad to testify in front of international and national bodies, as I am doing here in Washington. The Indonesian Government is in particularly weak position. A deep economic crisis goes hand in hand with a growing political crisis. A crisis of legitimacy is also evident. Although it may sound paradoxical, this weakened government has become more vicious and brutal toward voices of dissent. Increased international pressure is of paramount importance. My release is a shining proof that international pressure on the Indonesian authorities can improve the human rights situation.
In these last few days, the government has announced that they will set up two fact-finding teams. one of the teams has to find out whether members of the security forces are involved in the kidnappings. I welcome this announcement, another proof of positive results due to pressure. But I have to say at the same time that we have bad experiences with government fact-finding teams. After the Santa Cruz massacre in Dili, East Timor, in November 1991, similar fact-finding teams were established, also due to strong international pressure. The results were more than disappointing. No independent inquiry has been made up to this very day, and only a few low-ranking officers, who were sacrificed like lambs, received minor sentences.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman and honorable Members of the House, I also want to use this opportunity to raise the matter of impunity. President Suharto is by far the longest-serving ruler in Asia. In the more than three decades of his rule, fundamental freedoms have suffered greatly. The human rights situation in Indonesia is fundamentally flawed. Over the years, the U.S. State Department, in its annual Human Rights Reports, has recorded some of these violations. Often, the perpetrators of those violations are publicly known. In more cases, they are members of the security forces.
The tragedy in Priok more than a decade ago, the killings in Lampung and Aceh, and the tragic events on July 27, 1996, have occurred without the perpetrators being held accountable. The international community together with the growing democratic forces in Indonesia have to find ways to prevent senseless killings like this and to make sure that perpetrators will appear in court to give an account for their acts.
We also have to use internationally available instruments like the structures of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. It is urgent for your government to press for the sending of special teams to Jakarta. I would like to mention here the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which is going to visit East Timor anyhow in the coming months. Also, the U.N. Working Group on Disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on Torture are important to investigate the present situation. In cooperation with local human rights organizations, I'm confident that we can improve the situation.
Mr. Chairman, despite the traumatic experiences of my 2 months in captivity, I feel very optimistic. The winds of change are blowing in Indonesia. Because of the limited time given, I have included as an appendix a more detailed account of my experience. I sincerely hope that our mutual efforts will prevent repetitions of the things that happened to me.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Lustrilanang appears in the appendix.]
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your very telling testimony, and, again, for bearing witness to the atrocities that were brought to bear upon you by the security forces inagain, hearing from victims who have bravely overcome, and now come forward and tell the world their stories, just rips off the veneer and the facade of the Suharto Government. That when you look at CNN or any of the news coverages of the Western diplomats traipsing to Jakarta, with smiles and with all kinds of handshakes, knowing that the brutality that this man doesand his regimethat needs to be known and you have helped to fill that void.
It is not a given, it is not self-evident that people know the atrocities that are daily committed by the Indonesian Government and dictatorship, as well as the environmental exploitation and all of the other grave actions taken by that government, so it is important that you are bearing witness and we thank you.
I'd like to ask our final witness, before getting to questions, Ms. Aryati, and, again, I want to thank the press for their willingness to keep her identity from being disclosed.
STATEMENT OF MS. ARYATI, INDONESIAN HUMAN RIGHTS RESEARCHER/ACTIVIST
Ms. ARYATI. Mr. Chairman, honorable Members of Congress, ladies and gentlemen. Before I read my testimony, I wish to thank you for allowing me to provide this testimony.
I come to speak to you here today with some trepidation. Indonesia is not a free country where one can express criticism of the government without worry about the possible consequences upon one's safety. I have no guarantees of protection; I am not a prominent leader of a mass organization, nor a member of the elite who has high connections. I am an Indonesian from a middle-class background who is scared about telling you my honest opinions.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I take this risk because I feel compelled to. I am one of the youths of my country who will have to bear, for many years into the future, the burden of what mistakes and crimes the government is committing today. I take this risk also in the hope that the U.S. Government, so long a staunch and powerful supporter of Suharto's militarism, will reform itself and do something to ensure that Indonesia does have a government that respects and guarantees basic civil liberties, such as the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and the freedom of association.
Mr. Chairman, first I would like to present some facts about the military in Indonesia.
To understand the Suharto Government, you have to understand the Indonesian military, for we have been living under an institutionalized martial law regime for the past 33 years. It is no ordinary military. It has what is officially called a dual function, external defense and internal policing. Imagine for a moment that the U.S. military had overthrown the U.S. Government by staging a coup and orchestrating the slaughter of about 500,000 people. Imagine the military then set up headquarters in each state, each county, each city, and each town. Imagine that it placed one-third to one-half of the U.S. military's troops in these headquarters. Imagine that there were no laws governing their actions nor any legislative oversight. Imagine further that the civilian administration was constantly monitored and controlled by the military and that many of the civilian administrators were themselves military officers. If you can imagine this scenario then you have a pretty good idea of how the Indonesian military operates. It is omnipresent, all-pervasive, and beyond the law.
When the U.S. military speaks about training Indonesian military officers to respect human rights, we can only laugh. The structure of the Indonesian military places it as an all-powerful institution and the laws of our country allow it complete freedom to do what it wills. A few courses in good behavior are not going to alter what is a very oppressive system of military rule. Besides, we are not even certain that the U.S. military is sincere in claiming that it is providing such training.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The U.S. Congress should feel no qualms about cutting off the JCET training if it is thinking about our benefit. Once the JCET training became public knowledge, the Pentagon claimed that it was meant only for the benefit of U.S. soldiers who were given the opportunity to see how another military operates. So, by the Pentagon's own admission, the training was not designed to help the Indonesian military acquire less brutish habits.
Mr. Chairman, let me explain how the government instills in us a culture of fear and robs us of our basic civil rights. In response to the student protests sweeping the country, the government has decided to intimidate the students by resorting to the tactic of disappearances. According to the leading legal aid organization in Indonesia, Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI), there are 50 persons that have disappeared over the past 3 months.
One student activist, Pius Lustrilanang, is present here. Another one who disappeared is Andi Arief. Military personnel kidnapped him from his home, in full view of his family, on March 28. The top generals of our country not only denied that the military had kidnapped him, they joked to the press that he had simply disappeared of his own accord.
For 3 weeks, his family, his friends, and his fellow students worried themselves to the point of exhaustion. Knowing how the military operates, they were concerned for his very survival. On April 22, he turned up in the Jakarta central police station. The police had no arrest warrant and no explanation for how he got there.
Andi Arief told his lawyers that he had been kidnapped by the special forces, Kopassus, held for 3 weeks of interrogation, and then dumped at the police station.
One must note that the military did not break the law by kidnapping these 50 activists because none of the laws of our country apply to the military. Thus, Andi Arief's parents cannot sue Kopassus for arresting their son without a warrant and holding him in detention without habeas corpus. This is precisely what makes ordinary citizens so terrified of the military; it is unpredictable and unaccountable.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It has been said that one can judge a government by its prisons. Well then, let us look at Indonesian prisons. There we will find people whose only crime was to criticize the government. Sri Bintang Pamungkas, the leader of an independent political party, and an ex-member of the Parliament, criticized the Suharto Government. He is now in Cipinang prison in Jakarta on charges of subversion. Accompanying him in that prison are 12 members of the banned People's Democratic Party convicted of thought crimes. In the language of the prosecutors, they deviated from the state ideology.
There are presently at least 25 political prisoners in Indonesia's prisons, some are in their teens, some in their 70's. Just in the past 3 months, 250 people have been arrested on political crimes, such heinous crimes as holding peaceful meetings and holding peaceful demonstrations. We have a government that has a pathological fear of any public assembly that it does not control and any public leader who does not grovel before our President. Every single independent political party and trade union has been systematically destroyed by the government. In regions of the country where there has been serious organized resistance to the government, such as Irian Jaya, West Papua and occupied East Timor, it has not been satisfied with arrests. It has resorted to massacres.
You can guess what type of society we have. We are a people who are terrified of expressing our own opinions and terrified of getting involved in politics of any kind. Politics for us is a spectator sport, and a cruel sport it is. We are daily bombarded by the statements of officials who are barely literate, barely articulate, and barely educated. When faced with public criticisms, they speak of crushing, smashing, and hacking. They treat the youths of our country, those in their teens and 20's, who are sincerely and peacefully attempting to change this society, as though they were foreign agents bent on subversion. We are not citizens of a state, we are subjects of a modern, militarized sultanate.
It is obvious today that Suharto's reign is coming to a miserable end. The number of public demonstrations and public protests has been escalating. There also has been growing support for East Timor independence. In fact, some East Timorese students have been leading some of the demonstrations and have worked together with the Indonesian students. While this is a necessary condition for democracy in Indonesiathat is, the ending of Suharto's Presidencyit is not a sufficient condition. The military, with its dual function, is prepared to continue Suhartoism without Suharto. What I mean is that the sources of the systematic human rights abuses we see today are not going to vanish with the demise of the Suharto Presidency. For genuine democracy to exist in Indonesia, our laws will have to be changed to embody basic principles of human rights and the military will have to be confined to the barracks and put under civilian oversight.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, at this opportunity, I'd also like to give some explanation about the economic conditions of the past few months and the impact of the IMF bailout on the people at large.
For the past 33 years we have been told this system of martial law was necessary for our material benefit. The religion of the government, its legitimating ideology, has been economic development, what is called in Indonesian, pembangunan or development.
But what have we to show for 30 years of development? Two hundred families have fat Swiss bank accounts while millions of people have had their land expropriated. A few timber contractors and palm oil companies have accumulated fortunes while chopping and burning down most of the rain forest. Thirty years of development has meant the victimization of many Indonesians. And we have not heard all their laments precisely because there has been no freedom to criticize what the state calls its development program.
Thirty-plus years of development under martial law has meant the accumulation of an enormous debt. For 30 years, the United States, Japan, and Europe provided billions of dollars annually as foreign aid to the Suharto regime. The U.S. Government, since Suharto took power in 1965 by ordering the massacre of thousands of people, has consistently maintained that his regime provides stability and security. Every single U.S. President since Nixon, including the present incumbent, has, to their shame, celebrated the Suharto regime for its economic accomplishments and political stability. In effect, the U.S. Government has said that the Indonesian people are best kept under the thumb of a sultanate and that democracy was opposed to our best interests.
U.S. academics and retired Foreign Service personnel, such as those at the U.S. Indonesia Society here in Washington, DC, have been saying that Indonesians would just have to sacrifice their political freedoms for economic growth. The economic crisis of the past 9 months has paid to these cynical propositions.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, after suffering so that development could proceed, what is the prospect of the Indonesian people under the IMF bailout? In short, we are now expected to suffer even more to pay off a debt that we did not incur. Thanks to the Suharto regime's deal with the IMF, all Indonesians have been put into debt bondage. Our labor and resources are supposed to be devoted to paying off the debt for the next generation. Meanwhile, those 200 families who contracted the debt have enough money in their own personal accounts to pay it off many times over.
Is it possible to deny that this current economic austerity plan by the IMF is a gross injustice? The Indonesian people never approved of accepting all those loans. We weren't even allowed to know what the government's economic policy was for all those years.
Not even our farcical showcase parliament was given authority over economic policy, nor is it given any authority now. But the IMF is telling us that we have to share the debt burden equally. While it is apparently acceptable to the IMF that political power is monopolized, it absolutely insists that the debt be democratically distributed. Those governments that have loaned money to the Suharto regime and its crony capitalists for the past 30 years are now supporting the IMF's agreement. Thus, they appear to us like heroin pushers who, after keeping an addict hooked for years and driving him ever deeper in debt, throw him back on his family when he is near collapse, telling them that they have to foot the bill for his rehabilitation and for all his past debts.
Mr. Chairman, please do not believe that you are doing us any favors by authorizing money for the IMF loans to Indonesia. We need democracy in order to settle our economic problems but that is not a word you will find in the agreement between Suharto and the IMF. The IMF, with the blessing of the Clinton Administration, is actually hoping to engineer an economic recovery under the same political conditions of institutionalized martial law. This is, I assure you, an impossible dream. The protests against the Suharto regime have by now reached the point of no return. The Indonesian people, now that they have had the opportunity to express their long-suppressed grievances against this regime, are not going to be satisfied until it falls. Democracy is a rare commodity these days, but it is no less vital to us than rice.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is paradoxical that the IMF is willing to dictate terms to Suharto when it comes to managing the economy but not when it comes to fundamental economic rights, such as the right of workers to organize. The IMF refuses to insist that, as a condition for receiving the loans, the government recognize workers rights. It calls that meddling in the internal affairs of Indonesia, when it already controls the government's economic policy. If the IMF's agreement meddled in such a way as to allow the Indonesian people to have a greater voice over economic policy, then perhaps the U.S. Congress should support it. But, as it stands, the agreement is a worthless piece of paper signed by a collapsing dictator.
The IMF money is not going to benefit us. As you know, much of the money will be simply transferred to foreign banks that made risky loans to the Indonesian Government and Indonesian enterprises. The money will enter Indonesia for a moment and then get sent back out as debt payments. These payments are supposed to restore ''investor confidence'' but one has to wonder what kind of investors these are who believe in being rewarded for making bad decisions. It is astonishing that the foreign banks that made risky loans to a corrupt and unstable economic system want to be repaid in full. It is even more astonishing that they want the Indonesian people to pay for their bad decisions.
Look at the tragic conditions Indonesia is now in after 30 years of U.S.-supported stability and development. Indonesia has an abundance of fertile land yet we are now begging other countries to give us supplies of our staple food, rice. The Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that Indonesia needs to be given 2 million tons of rice for the estimated 7.5 million Indonesians who will require food assistance within the next year. There is a famine in eastern Indonesia and East Timor now. We, living in other parts of the country, hardly hear anything about it and what we do hear are government whitewashes. We have been told by the Suharto regime and the U.S. Government to exchange our political freedoms for economic prosperity. We have wound up with neither.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In conclusion, I would like to propose some recommendations for the U.S. Congress.
As U.S. Congressmen, you must realize that the only force that the military appears to feel accountable to is the U.S. Government. You greatly determine whether the Indonesian Government receives economic aid from the IMF and political legitimacy in international forums such as the United Nations. I can assure you that the Suharto regime, feeling entirely unaccountable to the Indonesian people, does feel beholden to the U.S. Government. It panics on seeing any sign of displeasure with it here in Washington, DC.
I urge you to listen to more people than just Indonesian Government officials and retired State Department officials. Since the government has not allowed for any opposition political leaders or parties to exist, it may seem difficult to know to whom one should listen. I suggest that you listen to those who have had the determination to sacrifice for their beliefs and the bravery to risk military violence to assert what they believe to be the truth.
You should listen to people such as Sri Bintang-Pamungkas who has demanded the international community refrain from loaning money and giving military aid to Indonesia until a democratic regime can be established. You should especially listen to the youth, such as Pius Lustrilanang, who have no interests other than those of the nation's.
In conclusion, I would recommend that the U.S. military not assist the Indonesian military. The U.S. Government should restrict itself to civilian relations with the Suharto regime. The U.S. Congress should not authorize money for the IMF to be loaned to the Suharto regime.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Aryati appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for that brilliant and very persuasive statement and I think it provides for all of us here, and, by extension, the Administration because they have representatives here and will see this hearing record, insights that go beyond the surface-appeal argument of just stability for stability's sake, to help the bankers out, that human rights ought to come first and I thought your statement that the Indonesians suffer more for a debt that we did not incur and many other statements, I think, need to be heard by many Members of Congress who are poised to just almost rubber stamp the additional funds for the IMF and for the donors' meetings that are in the offing, like in July.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Human rights have to become center stage, not an insular issue that is just brushed aside.
I would like to ask you, the entire panel, if you would, if the IMF and the international bailoutis it likely to extend Suharto's Government's brutality and suppression of human rights? And Mr. Lustrilanang, you had said earlier that there are a number of U.N. missions that are poised to go to Indonesia. In the past, and I have been in Congress now 18 years and I have seen these missions, I have been a staunch advocate of missions being deployed to abusive regimes, dictatorships, but very often, once they get there, they are denied access. They certainly don't have unfettered access, they are given sometimes almost a Potemkin village view of the world and once they leave, those who were forthcoming and gave vital and accurate information very often have very severe retaliatory actions taken against them by the government.
Do you believe that these missions will succeed? And, please, all of you, if you would, respond to this and, again, do we extend the lease on life with the dictatorship of the Suharto regime, the very brutal regime, is it likely to get worse, stay just as bad, or will there be some mitigation of the abuses?
Please, anyone on the panel, if you would like to begin.
And while you are preparing to answer, there are some who argue that by providing these additional funds, this mammoth amount of funding, that one of the conditions of breaking up the monopolies will lead to a breaking up of the power structure, which, again, might lead to a breakout of freedoms. Do you believe in that view, as well?
Ms. ARYATI. Would you like me to answer? I thinkSir, you asked whether IMF would break up monopolies? Is that your question?
Mr. SMITH. Whether or not it would up the monopolies, whether or not Suharto's lease onand the egregious abuses committed by his military and his government will continue, be abated, stay the same, and whether or not the working groups are likely to have some success and whether or not there is some fear that there might be retaliation against those who do speak out in country?
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. LUSTRILANANG. I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, because my English is too poor I want to speak in Indonesian and my friend will translate into English.
[Mr. Lustrilanang speaks in Indonesian, translated by Ms. Aryati.]
Ms. ARYATI, TRANSLATING FOR MR. LUSTRILANANG. He said that he thinks the IMF bailout should be given with two conditions. First that the government should be willing to conduct political and economic reform and that the second, that it should be willing to pay attention to the improvement of human rights and democracy in Indonesia.
Mr. LUSTRILANANG. Oh, yes. OK.
Ms. ARYATI, TRANSLATING FOR MR. LUSTRILANANG. Regarding the plan for U.N. commission to come, he thinks that is very important for them to come because without neutral monitoring agency, the Indonesian Government would only form this commission which would not conduct objective investigation to all human rights abuses.
Mr. HAMZAH. I think regarding the IMF bailout, we Indonesian people need the money, you know, to make the life, survive, and so on. On the other hand, Suharto also needs that money more. And I quite believe the first person who will benefit from the IMF bailout is Suharto and his regime because it will be able to keep him in power.
So, if under this condition, a lot of corruption and so on today, crony capitalism, collusion, the IMF keep giving that bail out to Indonesia, I am very much worried that the money will go to Suharto, not to Indonesia, not to Indonesian people, I mean.
So, it will only hurt to keep Suharto in power mainly.
Mr. SMITH. The documentation of the use of torture and its pervasiveness and your eyewitness accounts that you have given today shatters the myth that this government somehow acts in a civilized manner. The question I have is how high does the culpability go? Are Suharto and his top leaders a part of or do they just look the other way when the military commits these atrocities or are they themselves implemented in these very high crimes and this cruel behavior? Implicated is the word I was looking for.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC How high does it go, the line of responsibility. Right to the top?
Ms. ARYATI, TRANSLATING FOR MR. LUSTRILANANG. He said in the 1980's Suharto ordered the killings of thousands of criminals. The order has come from him.
Mr. SMITH. Before you answer, I'm going to have to leave for a moment to catch a vote on the floor of the House, but I will come right back. Chief of Staff Joseph Rees and General Counsel will continue the questioning, and I will return. So please continue.
Ms. ARYATI, TRANSLATING FOR MR. LUSTRILANANG. In my case, I believe that Suharto might be behind the kidnapping operation because, as you might know, the chief commander of ABRI has denied publicly that the ABRI is behind the operation. Of course, that's a public statement. So there might be force higher than the chief commander of the ABRI who ordered the kidnapping of the political activists.
Mr. REES. Mr. Pinto, did you have an answer to that question too?
Mr. PINTO. Yes, I would like to add that every decision come from the top down. One other clear example was 1991, hours after the massacre, the Indonesia armed commander, Tri Sutrisno, made a public statement by saying that delinquents like those, the Timorese, have to be shot. This is an unquestionable statement. It's from Tri Sutrisno, the armed commander of Indonesia.
And, in my case, when I was in jail, one day I asked them why they tortured me so much. So one of the Indonesia Kopassus, his name I still remember, his name is Onasum, and he told me, ''Well, that's because my boss told me to torture you. And if my boss told me to kill you, then I will kill you.'' He was blatantly talking about it.
So, whatever human rights violations occur in East Timor and Indonesia and Aceh and Sumatra, it's clear that Suharto's regime is involved, Suharto himself, we could say.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REES. I wanted to go backI'm sorry, did you have something else on this? I wanted to go back to a question that the Chairman asked a moment ago and pursue it a little. Because there are policymakers in the United States who believe that on the one hand the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, they're not going to start imposing direct conditions that you have to have democracy because there are lots of countries in the world that don't have democracy, some of them are big shareholders in the World Bank, and so that would be asking too much of the World Bank and the IMF.
But, by imposing conditions, economic conditions on the Indonesian Government, such as the conditions that certain big monopolies be broken up into smaller units, that the IMF will impose structural reform that will reduce the power of the governing elite and thereby reduce their political power.
Now, has this breakup of monopolies already started? Is it having any effects one waywe know that they've also said that they can't subsidize food and that is having a hard effect on the Indonesian people. But, what about the breakup of monopolies. Is that something that is going to reduce the power of the governing class? Do the Indonesian people even know this is going on? Are you able to say whether this IMF condition might be a good one that would lead to structural reform?
Ms. ARYATI. Let me answer that one. Well, as far as I know, the break up of monopolies has not been going on that successfully. At least, one monopoly by Suharto's son, Tommy, is still going on. And I don't believe that this breakup of monopolies will necessarily grant access to everybody who is interested in doing business, because you might know of the case of the distribution of water. They said that the state would break up the monopoly, but it turned out that a private company which took up this monopoly is part of Suharto's cronies.
Mr. REES. Right.
Ms. ARYATI. So there is the possibility that if the Suharto Government would say, OK, let's break up the monopoly, but then they would distribute it to the companies of his own crony or his own family.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REES. Right. Anyone else on that question?
Mr. HAMZAH. I think the policy of Suharto toward monopolies, that he said that he will edit-op, still as a lip service, while, in fact, you can see after the Indonesian Government stopped the monopoly of his sons, Tommy Oncalof, then the cigarette producers commented in the Indonesian newspaper that, in fact, the monopoly's still going on because they cannot get a stamp from the Indonesian Government to sell the cigarette, if they didn't buy from Tommy, from Suharto's sons, what we call SBPPC.
And the other thing is, also, after the government stopped his monopoly, one of Suharto's sons went to monopolize another thing, the distribution of the soap and toothpaste to the community. So you can see, you stop this kind of monopoly, and then he went to another thing. And that's what they always do. I think yesterday in The New York Times they put the story regarding this also.
Mr. REES. What about the distribution of humanitarian aid? First, I assume one of our policies that I think most people in the U.S. Congress, even those who are very concerned about human rights abuses, would agree is that you don't stop pure humanitarian aid, you don't stop distribution of essential health materials and food. And we have a big program, the United States and also the World Bank and other donors, a big program of trying to respond to the economic crisis with distribution of food and medicines and so forth.
Are those being channeled in a way that they are getting through to the people they are supposed to help? Or are they going toif we give them to the government, can we count on the government to actually distribute them to the people, or is that aid also being siphoned off in directions that it shouldn't be? And what is the solution, how do we make sure that our humanitarian aid really goes to help people?
Mr. HAMZAH. As long as the people responsible for the distribution of this humanitarian aid are from the government or from the bureaucrat, I think I doubt it. As a case in last March in an Indonesian magazine they published a story that Suharto's daughter, Tutu, who is social minister now, brings a program of free lunch for the workers, for the lower-class workers. And they give food stamp to every worker, I don't know how many thousands of them in Jakarta, and these workers had to show this food stamp to the ''waroom,'' which meant to the food place, that was already determined by her.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And then, at the end of the month, this owner of the ''waroom'' claimed the money from the social department and, according to this story, when this person tried to claim to the government, the officers there wanted him to sign that he already accepted the money, not as he will accept the money or not that he will receive the money from the officers. So I think this kind of corruption still is a really hard problem that we face.
So, I support the idea of humanitarian aid, but for the distribution of that food, it has to be under the monitor of the United Nations or U.S. officers and also involve the human rights organizations in Indonesia.
Mr. REES. Thank you. Yes?
Ms. ARYATI. I think this distribution of humanitarian aid will only go directly to the people if you send it through either nongovernment organizations, church organizations, other religious organizations. I believe that if it goes through the government it will be corrupted because the structure of the government right now is so undemocratic there is no way the public will be able to control that.
They are not accountable to the people. One particular example was in February and March, I think the World Bank gave about $2.2 billion, or million, I'm not sure, I'll have to check on that. But they gave that through the state development planning body for job creation program. The money was corrupted down to the lowest level. The laid-off workers who were supposed to get 7,000 rupiah a day, in the end only brought home 5,000 rupiah a day. There are hundreds of workers, almost millions of workers who joined that job creation program, so you could imagine how much corruption is involved in that kind of aid.
And that's only from the World Bank. I don't know about the other aid that might go through the government and we don't know about that.
Mr. REES. Yes. Anybody else on that question? Mr. Pinto.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PINTO. In the case of East Timor, 2 months ago there was a problem of drought where at least 7,000 people suffered a food shortage. I think the U.S. Government, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta declared a situation of emergency which gave, I think, $2,000 in food aid, I'm not sure how much.
Mr. REES. Two thousand dollars?
Mr. PINTO. I think so, $2,000 or $20,000, I'm not sure.
Mr. REES. Usually we put an extra three zeros on any of our numbers.
Mr. PINTO. It was channeled through CARE International which is based in East Timor which actually put to good use, actually, of the money. And I support the idea of humanitarian aid be channeled to Indonesia and East Timor through the international agencies, the United Nations, or USAID, for example, and the church.
Mr. REES. But did that work? When they gave the money through CARE it was used to help people?
Mr. PINTO. Yes. It was used to help people on the ground.
Mr. REES. Now I know that our people think that the Ministry of Health in Indonesia is doing a good job. I'm not sure that our experts think that about every ministry, but they believe that working with the Ministry of Health is a good way to get health services to the people. Is there anybody who has enough detailed knowledge of the different ministries to be able to speak to that one way or another?
Mr. ARYATI. Well, I'm not sure whether they really do the job because as far as I know, all of these ministries have been very corrupt but I don't have evidence about that, but my experience, and many people's experience in dealing with the government bureaucrats, has always involved corruption, bribery, and so forth, so I don't believe that there is any single government ministry which would be so honest.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REES. Well, if you think about it and you have people in Indonesia who can give us specific evidence about this one way or the other, obviously in delivering humanitarian aid we want to make sure we do the right thing and often it's pointed out by the government people we have who work in this area, they say, look, the government is everywhere, they have clinics, you know they are the people we should be working with.
And if that's true, then that's what they should do. If there are problems, though, we need to know about it and we will certainly pass them along to the people in our agency for international development, and so forth. So if you want to respond later on any of this it's fine.
Mr. FRIED. If I might add a word to that. Again, this is based on a report by Dr. George Aditjondro in response to your question on health. According to Dr. Aditjondro, the new minister of social welfare, which apparently oversees the health ministry and the birth control department, is reported to, since assuming office, have transferred, for example, the ministry's oversight of the birth control injection trade. They transferred that from one company to a company owned by his son, and then he arranged for the transfer of a condom factory, formerly managed by a parastatal organization, to a business owned directly by Suharto's son, Bambang.
He is also a treasurer of a Suharto-run social foundation. So that's the story on reproductive health, and then again this is based again on a new report by Dr. Aditjondro.
Mr. REES. And you'll give us a copy of that report for the record.
Ms. FRIED. Yes, certainly.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix on page 115.]
Mr. REES. Thank you. Yes, lots of time it seems like that's the biggest chunk of U.S. foreign aid anyway so we're probably doing a good job of subsidizing that factory.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At the recent U.N. Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva, the United States and the European Union had been planning on presenting a resolution on human rights and self-determination for East Timor. Instead they agreed to a chairman's statement, in which the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission noted that the Government of Indonesia had agreed to provide better access for the Red Cross and other nongovernmental organizations into East Timor and also to ratify the convention against torture as well as making several other commitments.
Did this statement represent a step forward, or would a resolution have been better, even though the resolution might have meant that the Government of Indonesia would not have made these commitments?
Mr. PINTO. Well, since 1993 we have several resolutions on the human rights situation in East Timor and the Indonesia Government reluctantly refused to implement those resolutions, so this time we have a chairman's statement and I hope Indonesia will implement what is agreed to in the future.
I would say that it was not a step forward or backward, because we have been seeing the implementation of what they agreed. So I hope that Indonesia will do this.
Mr. SMITH. [presiding] Thank you, Mr. Rees, for carrying on the hearing. I have a couple of other questions and thenthere have been reports for several years and, Mr. Pinto, you mentioned this in your testimony, of coercive population control practices in Indonesia, particularly in East Timor. You spoke about a vaccine, or at least people coming in under the pretense of receiving a vaccine.
Are Indonesian family planning programs, particularly those assisted by the United States designed to help people plan their families voluntarily or to meet targets for population reduction? And are family planning programs in East Timor or anywhere else that any of you have knowledge of more coercive than one area or another; is East Timor more coercive, for example, than other parts of Indonesia?
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, if so, do they appear to be motivated by a desire for further reduction almost in a genocidal way of the East Timorese population?
Mr. PINTO. Yes, I say that it'sthis book contains information about the family planning in East Timor and I would like to give you this book so you could have much more competent information about it.
I think that the family planning in East Timor is different from the family planning program in Indonesia. In East Timor, I would say, it's a way of genocide. While we've lost more than a third of the population over the 23 years of Indonesian occupation and sterilizing women is a way contributing to the genocide.
At least according to one of the doctors from England in 1991, according to his research, more than 500 students were sterilized and they were given depro provera injections and what they were told, that they were having some vitamin injection. So when you are in a situation where you have lack of food, you feel that having a vitamin injection is then as good.
Mr. SMITH. Was this administered solely by the government?
Mr. PINTO. By the government, by the KB program.
Mr. SMITH. Was there any involvement by the nongovernmental organizations?
Mr. PINTO. No, there was no nongovernment organization in East Timor that dealt with this case.
Mr. SMITH. So, in your view, this is an attempt to reduce the population, because it's an unwanted population. It has nothing to do with a voluntary planning program.
Mr. PINTO. Yes.
Ms. ARYATI. I'd like to add from a report done by a women's organization a couple of years ago where it said that in certain areas suspected to be the place where a lot of Communists, well, this is a vague categorization, but in these areas the military accompanied the staff from the family planning department to force the women to join the family planning program.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And each of the family planning offices would have a map where they would mark the areas where women would be forced to have the family planning, so I think it has some political motive behind the family planning program and I believe that in East Timor it was intentional.
Mr. SMITH. Were those kinds of abuses reported to the Indonesian Human Rights Commission? Has that been raised, and what is your impression of that commission? Is it authentic?
Ms. ARYATI. Which? I'm sorry.
Mr. SMITH. The Indonesian Human Rights Commission.
Ms. ARYATI. Yes. Well, so far, I think they have been doing quite a great job in pressuring, at least in making it public, making the human rights violation public.
For example, the case of the disappearances has appeared in public because of the National Commission of Human Rights action in doing that. They don't have any legal forces. They don't have any power to apply legal forces on the institution which they believe to be responsible for the human rights violations. But at least by making it public, it makes the Indonesian people in general know what kinds of human rights violations and it advocates, in some ways, about human rights principals and their rights to
Mr. SMITH. Are you aware as to whether or not the coercive population has ever been brought to them?
Ms. ARYATI. I don't think so.
Mr. SMITH. Is that something that might be considered to try toagain, light and scrutiny sometimes mitigate some of the worst offenses, even though the offense goes on, just a thought.
Let me ask you, when Bishop Belo returned to Dili in December 1996, there was a mass demonstration of support that somehow turned into a riot. It has been known for sometime that in the wake of that demonstration there were arrests and there were disappearances. I've recently heard reports of a number of people who had been in the crowd, including several high school girls, were taken into custody and then savagely tortured and killed. Can any of you comment on those reports and have they been brought to the attention of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission or, perhaps, to the U.S. State Department?
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PINTO. Yes, there was a demonstration after Bishop Belo arrived in East Timor, after he got another Peace Prize in Sweden, in Norway.
As a result of that demonstration, hundreds of people were arrested and those who were arrested currently are in jail, most of them young people, 18 to 20 years old.
Some women were also arrested and they were raped. We don't have evidence of the rape, but based on personal account, many of the women were raped by the Indonesian officers.
Whether this information was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, it was raised at the U.N. Human Rights Commission and, by Zeram Zorta, one of the Nobel Peace Prize winners, and also it was raised at the European Union in Brussels.
To the Indonesian Human Rights Commission, I don't have information about it, whether they have information, they should have, probably provided by the Indonesian troops.
Mr. REES. I just want to follow up on that. We have received quite recently reports that have not been anywhere else. And I just want to make sure that you understand what we are asking about. That women, young women, were not only raped, but tortured in sexual ways, as well as other ways, and that some of them were killed.
Now, obviously if this is true, we want to bring it to our State Department, and we want tobecause it's not in our human rights report, but if you're not sure of the authenticity of those reports, that's something else that we should know too before wehave you heard these reports and are you looking into them?
Mr. PINTO. Well, I've heard this report, but my organization wants to figure it out whether the report is true. We don't want to provide information that does not have foundation.
Mr. REES. OK.
Mr. PINTO. Yes, we have this booklet here, these are true pictures that we got from the Indonesian Army, we bought them from the Indonesian Army in East Timor.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. REES. And how did the pictures come to happen?
Why are there pictures of this? Who takes the pictures?
Mr. PINTO. These pictures were taken by Indonesian soldiers, those who tortured their victims, and happen to be corrupt and we were able to buy from them. They are in East Timor.
Mr. REES. Why did they take the pictures?
Mr. PINTO. I think for their own documentation
Mr. SMITH. Amusement? Amusement? Is it some shoddy game they play?
Mr. PINTO. Probably.
Mr. SMITH. Because I looked at those pictures and they were absolutely horrifying, that anyone (a) could do that and (b), document it by way of picture it is beyond the pale.
Mr. HAMZAH. I would like to add a little bit more about the rape of the woman. It seems to me it not only happened in East Timor, but also in Aceh in 1991, just about 2 weeks before the Ramadanyou know, this for the Muslim is a highly holy man's. It was a mass rape in a district in North Aceh. I investigated the case with journalists from Asia Week based in Jakarta. So, in that time, according to the villagers, according to the victims, at 4:30 in the morning, the military officers fired a gun into the air. So all villagers, I mean men, have to run to a place already decided, decided by the military. The second time they have to arrive thereif they still haven't arrived there yet, then the military will shoot them. So all women at home were raped by the military, and a friend of mine, a journalist, after the investigation asked about the case to the minister of defense of Indonesia at that time, in 1991.
So, this minister of defense or this general say, this something uncommon because Acehin the region where the military operation is going on. So this minister or this general say that's something uncommon, naturally because the authorities were there for a long time, 6 months, and so on, and they get stressed.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And this, my friend, this journalist, asked him, is it what you meanI mean, the general was so mad at that time. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Is there any fear on the part of the military and from top to bottom that some day these gross violations of human rights will be made known? And that there will be an accounting? In Rwanda, and we've had numerous hearings in our Subcommittee, and we were part of getting the money, or at least the U.S. donation for the war crimes tribunal in both Bosnia and Rwanda, and now there are some very high-level people who committed atrocities that are being held accountable and hopefully many more will.
It seems to me that the international community is beginning, rather lethargically, but still beginning, to try, it has some political will and I certainly think it needs to be increased, to hold doers of torture accountable for their misdeeds.
We all know that when Pol Pot died, there were rather extensive notes on the victims that were killed by the Khmer Rouge. And, certainly the key person that the community would have wanted to have held accountable was Pol Pot himself.
In Bosnia, Milosevic and Mladic and Karadic and all the other commiters of crimes need to be held accountable. There are indictments out for Mladic, for example. And in Indonesia, and in Asia, in general, there is no suspension of violation of human rights, nor should there be in terms of the world community holding accountable those who commit such gross violations.
Is there any sense in the military, or by Suharto himself, that there will be an accounting some day? That all of this will be laid bare despite the sanitizing that goes on day in and day out or the overlooking by those who know or should know?
And what can we do to begin to ratchet up the pressure to hold these people accountable? I mean, this is the first of a series of hearings and hopefully the European community and others will engage in a focus and will bring that light onto Indonesia, especially since there is such a significant amount of money being poured into saving the Suharto regime.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PINTO. Yes. I think by comparing Suharto's behavior with Pol Pot and other regime in Bosnia, Suharto is responsible for the massacre in Indonesia since 1965 and East Timor, a third of the population. And I think Suharto has to be brought before the tribunal.
Mr. SMITH. Brought before the tribunal?
Mr. PINTO. Yes.
Mr. SMITH. Why are the killings of Indonesians no less of importance to the world community thanand the rapings of womenthan the killings that went on in Bosnia or Croatia or Rwanda or in the Congo?
It seems to me it's a double standard unless the international community begins to make him accountable and his helpers in those crimes.
Ms. ARYATI TRANSLATING FOR MR. LUSTRILANANG. So he thinks that he could see the Suharto regime is getting afraid of the demand from the students, the student demonstrations, because there has been demand for Suharto to be brought in, as a war criminal. So he could see that the repression actually increased along with the increasing radicalism of the students' movement. So it seems like the Suharto Government is trying to repress that demand.
Mr. SMITH. Just a few final questions, and I thank you for your sense of testimonies and your patience.
What is the current situation in Irian Jaya? Has it gotten better or worse in the last year or two? The human rights situation?
Ms. FRIED. Would it be possible for me to call to the stand someone who has actually worked directly with organizations in Irian Jaya
Mr. SMITH. That would be very helpful. They will identify themselves when they come up?
Ms. FRIED. Yes. If Ms. Abigail Abrash would come to the microphone.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. ABRASH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me introduce myself. My name is Abigail Abrash and I'm program director for Asia and the Middle East with the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights.
It's an unexpected pleasure to have this opportunity to address your question about human rights in Irian Jaya. I've been focusing on the human rights situation in that province of Indonesia for the last 5 years and have visited the area twice. Based on the information that we have about the human rights situation in that province, it is clear that military operations in the Central Highlands of Irian Jaya are resulting in human rights abuses against the local population, against indigenous communities that are based there.
That area has been a closed military area for the last 2 years or more as a result of a hostage taking there by the OPM which is a guerilla movement in Irian Jaya. And, as retaliation, the military has been conducting operations against local peoples living in the area. I think you probably are aware of a much more visible and much more public set of abuses by the military in that province which took place around the Freeport-McMoRan mining area in Tamika in the south part of Irian Jaya, and Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission and the Catholic bishop of Jaya Pura both confirmed that there had been numerous and very serious human rights violations by the military against the local people in that area, including cases of disappearance, or documented cases of disappearance, those individuals have never been discovered, either living or dead; numerous cases of extrajudicial cases, arbitrary detention, and very severe cases of torture.
So, in answer to your question, the military is certainly conducting operations in Irian Jaya which are resulting in human rights abuses there.
Mr. SMITH. I thank you very much for that
Ms. ABRASH. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. and thank you for the heads-up, Dr. Fried.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. FRIED. Thank you very much.
Mr. SMITH. Let me ask two final questions and anything else you would like to add before we conclude the hearing.
As you know the population of East Timor is overwhelmingly Catholic. Acts of violence by government agents in East Timor have sometimes included the desecration of religious objects and the use of anti-Christian slogans. To what extent is the repression in East Timor motivated by religious differences, rather than political or ethnic issues?
Mr. PINTO. The question of East Timor is not a religious or ethnical issue. Yes, the Indonesian Government in the past 3 or 4 years tried to create some problems between the Timorese and the Indonesian settlers in East Timor by disrespecting the church, the Catholic church, being that the East Timorese are Catholics, and so they basically tried to change the issue into a religious one. But there hasn't been any single problem between the Timorese and Indonesians settlers there.
I must say that our position is clear, the Timorese, that we are struggling against the Suharto regime, not against the people of Indonesia.
Mr. SMITH. Dr. Fried.
Ms. FRIED. Actually I was just going to translate a little bit that was left out of Pius' answer to the last question on why Bosnia received attention and Indonesia didn't. He stated that, in fact, this was largely due to the fact that Indonesian citizens had very little access to the international arena, and were often unable, as private individuals, to make their thoughts and desires known to the outside world and that the international consensus appeared to still trust the Suharto Government.
And that perhaps accounted for a difference in the international perception of Indonesia versus Bosnia.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you for that. And, hopefully that changes as the record becomes more apparent to more people.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me ask one final question. As you know, during the last 2 years there have been dozens of burning of Christian churches in East Java and elsewhere. Has the government moved vigorously to prosecute those involved? Is there any evidence of government complicity in the church burnings? And, if not, who is responsible. And, finally, have the condemnations of the church burnings by leaders of Indonesia's largest Muslim organizations been helpful in bringing about religious reconciliation?
Ms. ARYATI. As far as I know, the riots of the past 2 months have been more related to the increasing price of food, so the people did not attack a particular ethnic group, but it so happened that the policy of the Indonesian Government had put the Chinese only in an economic arena, so when the people attacked shopkeepers, they happened to be Chinese.
And in terms of church burnings, there has been some indication that the military was behind the forces who attacked the churches. In one case, the problem was not even religious conflict. It was a problem within the Muslim community itself, which then led to the church burning by an agent provocateur. So it often happens that such an organized riot was due to the military support to that, or the military just ignored the existence of the riot. For example, in East Java, the military didn't come to the area to secure the area until 5 hours after the riot, while the actual military station was only half an hour from the arena.
So there is some indication that the military actually turned the Chinese into a scapegoat to distract the public's criticism toward Suharto and try to find a scapegoat in that sense.
But in other cases, there is evidence that the public are mad at the Chinese businessmen because the military were supporting them in doing their business. The military received bribes and security fees from the businessmen. In this case, the public discontent toward the military and the Chinese are combined, and they just attacked the Chinese because they couldn't attack the military.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Mr. HAMZAH. I would like to put some more points on thethat the people in Indonesia will get very much profit or benefit from Suharto's regime, the Chinese minorities.
I mention this because this is related to the riots, that most of the time they became the victims of the riots. Last night I calledI got information from Indonesia, from Medan, the place that I used to work, that 1,200 of stores were burned, in Medan, and that's all Chinese, I mean Chinese store. And maybe in this way you will see that this is a kind of racism, but in fact is not. Even in the same thing last 1994, when the workers riot, that hundreds of Chinese companies became the victims of this vandalism. But the problem here is that in Medan, the Chinese businessmen control all the city, all the stores, if you walk from one store to another one, those belong to the Chinese. So if there is a strike or a riot and they burn the store, ultimately the Chinese will be the first victim of this because these food stores belong to them. So, I think the same case in the other riots also.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much. Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Smith. I apologize for being this late. I was at a hearing of the Africa Subcommittee that, as a matter of fact, is still going on.
I just want to first, commend you for holding this very important hearing and to have an opportunity to hear witnesses just give first-hand accounts of what is going on. I, for many years, have had a problem with the behavior of the Indonesian Government, especially in East Timor when it was under colonial rule for many years and then when the colonialists decided to leave and Indonesia decides it is a part of their jurisdiction. I think that that's wrong and I also have a question about the fact that we know that corruption is rampant and there is still this push to have the IMF bail out Indonesia's ruling party, really, because they are the economy and they run the economy and it's for the family of the ruling leaders.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I think that that is also wrong. I will certainly get an opportunity to read the testimony, that's sort of hind sight, because I was unable to be here; it is though an issue that is close to my interests and I will be certainly in conversation with the chairman to see where do we go from here.
Thank you very much for the opportunity.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Payne.
And I just want to say to our witnesses, Mr. Payne and I, and we may be from different political parties, but when it comes to human rights we work in solidarity and we both speak out with one voice, so it is an honor to serve with him and I can assure you that we will do everything we can and follow up because you not only documented abuses and showed patterns of abuses, you've also given us a large number of very specific action items to follow up on and I can assure you we will look at them all very carefully as well as will other Members of the Subcommittee and the Full Committee and our respective leadership.
So I thank you very much. You have given us valuable information, timely information, and it will be acted upon; and this is the first of a series of hearings so I thank you for your input.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:23 p.m., the Subcommittee adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.]
A P P E N D I X
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