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Families of disappeared go to ICRC

Kompas - June 19, 1998 (abridged, posted by Tapol)

After failing yesterday to meet members of the Armed Forces parliamentary fraction, the families of five of the "disappeared" visited the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jakarta to seek help. [Altogether nine people are still missing, some since May last year.]

Deputy chair of Kontras, the Committe for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, Dadang Trisasongko escorted relatives of Petrus Bima Anugerah, Suyat, Noval Alkatiri, Giland and Yani Afri to the ICRC office. Relatives of the other four "disappeared" will visit the ICRC in due course.

Speaking on the same occasion, PBHI director, Hendardi said that taking the issue to an international body was perfectly legitimate because domestic agencies had given the impression that they were not doing anything to resolve the problem.

"There's no sign of any concrete action from ABRI, the armed forces, to resolve the question. They haven't said how far they have got or what the difficulties are. If they cant handle the problem, they should say so," said Hendardi.

Dadang said that the ICRC had followed the issue of the "disappeared" since the start and had asked for permission to have a meeting with Andi Arief who is now being held by the Jakarta police, but had not yet received a reply. [Andi Arief was handed over the police on 17 April this year after being missing for nearly three weeks.]

Mrs Misiati Utomo, the mother of Petrus Bima Anugerah, said the ICRC had assured her they would do everything possible to help but they would not be able to explain their methods because these are kept strictly confidential.

Dadang also said that some of the disappeared who had resurfaced would visit the ICRC to give inform about their experiences.

[According to a June 19 report by Amnesty International, Andi has now been granted access to a lawyer and is reportedly being treated well. Amnesty said he remains in custody in Jakarta but it is unclear under what charges. There has been no investigation into his arrest or torture and the military continue to deny that they they were involved - James Balowski.]