[The following statement was passed unanimously on 21 February, 1997 by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco & Allied Workers' Association (Asia/Pacific) 9th IUF Asia/Pacific Regional Conference, held in Hong Kong from February 19 to 21, 1997.]
- NOTES WITH GRAVE CONCERNS that independent trade unions in Indonesia, SBSI and PPBI, and their leaders have been incorrectly and unfairly blamed for the incident that took place in Jakarta on July 27, 1996;
- CONDEMNS the military attack on the Headquarters of the Democratic Party of Indonesia (PDI) in Jakarta on July 27, 1996, and views this action as the spark which inflamed the riot which followed it;
- CALLS on the Indonesian government to release Muchtar Pakpahan immediately and unconditionally and to retract all charges laid against him; especially the charge of subversion which carries the death sentence, but also all charges relating to his alleged but unfounded involvement in the Medan riots of 1994;
- CALLS on the Indonesian government to immediately and unconditionally release the 13 PRD leaders who have also been charged with subversion, especially Budiman Sujatmiko, the head of PRD, and including 5 leaders of the independent trade union PPBI which is associated with the PRD, and to drop all the charges laid against them as well as the 124 other persons who were charged for their alleged involvement in the July 27 incident;
- CALLS on the Indonesian government to guarantee the internationally recognised right of freedom of association, and to give the independent trade unions SBSI and PPBI immediate and unconditional official recognition so that officials and staff of these organisations can carry out their functions without constant threat of arrest;
- CALLS on the Indonesian government to ensure freedom of expression in the lead up to the 1997 elections, and to take decisive actions to ensure that the elections are free and fair.