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Human rights violations must be fully investigated

Kompas - October 16, 2004

Jakarta, Kompas – The Aceh Working Group or AWG is urging the government to investigate human rights violations which have taken place in Aceh, many of which have been suffered by political prisoners in a various Acehnese jails.

One of the AWG members from the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), Henri Simarmata, said on Thursday October 14 that although many of the human rights violations occurred when the state of martial law as in place they continued after this was replaced with a state of civil emergency.

According to PHBI’s findings, there were 71 cases of beatings and torture of detainees, three cases of prisoners being detained under in appalling physical conditions, 37 cases of detainees’ families having to pay money to meet with prisoners and two cases of detainees being interrogated, tortured and held in non-official facilities.

According to Simarmata, most of the torture which was perpetrated against Free Aceh Movement (GAM) detainees was committed by the Military Intelligence Unit (Satuan Gabungan Intelijen) and law enforcement officers. “All of our data was obtained from trial proceedings in Aceh”, said Simarmata.

Another member of AWG from the Jakarta Women’s Legal Aid Association for Justice (LBH Apik), Astuti Listianingrum, said that there are 51 women who are being detained in prisons and jails in Aceh.

A spokesperson from the Information Coordination Taskforce for the Operation to Restore Security, Ari Mulya Asnawi MM, said that like previous accusations, with regard to human rights violations in Aceh it needs to be proven beforehand if they have actually occurred or not. “If indeed they have, will form a team to investigate it”, he said. (sie)

[Translated by James Balowski.]
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