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Indonesia continues to be a concern among advocates for human rights. Importantly, both Human Rights Watch, as well as Amnesty International, criticized the Indonesian government in their annual reports. In its 2007 World Report, Human Rights Watch stated [1]:

Continuing areas of concern in Indonesia include impunity for past human rights violations, the slow pace of military reform, conditions in Papua, imposition of the death penalty, and infringements on freedom of expression and religious freedom.[1]

Similarly, Amnesty International, in its 2007 Report for Indonesia [2], stated:

Perpetrators of human rights violations continued to enjoy impunity for violations which occurred in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) and Papua. In Papua, cases of extrajudicial executions, torture and excessive use of force were reported. Across the country, ill-treatment or torture in detention facilities and police lock-ups continued to be widely reported. Three people were executed in September, sparking increased debate about the death penalty. At least 13 people were sentenced to death. Freedom of expression remained under threat with at least eight people prosecuted for peacefully expressing opinions.[2]

Additionally, on March 6, 2007, the U.S. State Department released its Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Indonesia [3], which stated:

The government generally has been unable to adequately address serious human rights abuses committed in the past. Inadequate resources, weak leadership, and limited accountability contributed to continued abuses by security force personnel, although with sharply reduced frequency and gravity than under past governments. The following human rights problems occurred during the year: unlawful killings by security force personnel, terrorists, vigilante groups, and mobs; torture; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary detentions; a corrupt judicial system; warrantless searches; infringements on free speech; restrictions on peaceful assembly; interference with freedom of religion by private parties, sometimes with complicity of local officials; intercommunal religious violence; violence and sexual abuse against women and children; trafficking in persons; failure to enforce labor standards and violations of worker rights, including forced child labor.[3]

The year 2005 was notable for a series of attacks against minority Christians in Poso, including the 2005 Indonesian beheadings of Christian girls.

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HR 2601 Section 1115

In 2005, the US Congress revised the previous fifty six year US policy of silence about human rights abuses in Indonesia, and on July 28 passed the US Congress 2006 Foreign Relations Authorization Bill H.R. 2601 which made specific mention of the ongoing genocide and legitimacy of its sovereignty of West Papua. Section 1115 was specific section referring to Indonesia and on 30 July 2005 the Jakarta Post reported:

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned the U.S. not to interfere in Indonesia's domestic affairs after the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved a bill that questions the status of Papua.

Although not mentioned in the US media, Section 1115 had become a leading Indonesian news story through August and September 2005. In the United States, the US Senate had since early 2001 been rejecting repeated efforts by the Bush administration to have US funding of the Indonesian military resumed, a ban which had been reluctantly imposed by the Clinton administration after TNI officers were filmed coordinating the Dili Scorched Earth campaign. By writing and passing Section 1115, the US Congress joins the Senate's earlier efforts to reduce, if not disengage, from the US fiscal and political support of the Indonesian military, a change of policy which brings both houses into conflict with the Bush administration and the executives of companies such as Bechtel.

Though Section 1115 states humanitarian and legal reasons for its existence, an additional factor would be security concerns due to ongoing employment of Al Qaeda related terrorist militia by the Indonesian military and their continued funding programs for the Al Qaeda network. Given that the Senate opposition since 2003 has been strengthening on account of the TNI involvement in the death of Americans at the Timika mining site in 2002, the 2005 decision by Congress may reflect a desire to find more economical methods of cripling the Al Qaeda network.

Following President SBY's denouncement of Section 1115, Indonesian lobby groups such as The US Indonesia Society began renewed efforts to promote an Indonesian image of good management and renewed non-militant behaviour under General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's administration. SBY follows the administration of Megawati who in 2001 gave a public speech to the TNI instructing all members that they should disregard the issues of human rights in enforcing Indonesian unity and repressing any independence movements. Recent racial attacks on Indian Students (in Australia) are criticised by the world. Australian Police took "Blame the Victim" approch.

Anti-Chinese legislation

See also

References

External links

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