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DAGAinfo

18 April 2000
No. 104


In this issue:
  1. FEATURE
    RESPONDING TO GLOBALIZATION AND DEBT FROM A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE
  2. NEWS in Brief
    Washington DC - U.S. GOV’T CLOSES DOWN VENUE OF FILIPINO-LED FORUM AGAINST IMF-WB
    Burma - FORCED LABOUR PERSIST IN BURMA
    Thailand - 'Beach' closure proves damage, say activists
    Bangladesh - Garment workers campaign for weekly holiday
  3. Urgent APPEALS
    INDONESIA: Possible "disappearances"/Fear of torture or ill-treatment/Fear for safety
  4. ANNOUNCEMENT

 

1. FEATURE - top
 

RESPONDING TO GLOBALIZATION AND DEBT FROM A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE*

J.B. Banawiratma S.J.

 

Let us approach this issue in three steps: (1) the challenge of globalization, (2) our religious response to that challenge, and (3) the problem of debt in the context of globalization.

The Challenge of Globalization

The phenomenon of globalization is most discussed from the economic perspective and understood as integration of economics of the whole world including the 3rd world into liberal capitalist economy dominated by the Group 7 (Delhi 1998, a group consultation on globalization). Globalization is not a neutral phenomenon. It might show itself as a positive phenomenon of human fellowship and solidarity promoted through international networking. Yet, it has been especially related to "neo-colonialism" (Mangunwijaya 1998), economic domination, cultural aggression and political imperialism. Using the expression of Pope Paul VI "financial or technical assistance was being used as a cover for some new form of colonialism that would threatens their civil liberty, exert economic pressure ... or create a new power group with controlling influence" (PP, 1967, no.53)

To open a broader discussion it might be useful to hear A. Giddens’ general definition on globalization.

"Globalization is really about transformation of space and time. I define it as action at distance, and relate its intensifying over recent years to the emergence of means of instantaneous global and mass transportation.

Globalization does not only concern the creation of large-scale systems, but also the transformation of local, and even personal. contexts of social experience. Our day-to-day activities are increasingly influenced by events happening on the side of the world. Conversely, local lifestyle habits have become globally consequential. Thus my decision to buy a certain item of clothing has implications not only for the international division of labor but for the earth’s ecosystems."

We can describe the global action at distance with its multi-aspects affecting local and personal contexts. The action at distance happens not primarily between nations and states, but between the classes of different nations. The most marginalized people are the dominated classes in the poor countries. They undergo double domination, namely from the vested interests of international organizations and from the dominating classes in the South.

Economical action at distance includes three related areas - the movement of goods, capital and labour across national boundaries, in which free market plays the dominant actor directed by profit motivations of private enterprises (cf. Kunen 1997:17). The Human Development Report of UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) 1992 depicted global distribution of income in a famous figure of "champagne glass". The richest 20 % of world’s population receives 82.7% of the total world income while the poorest 20% receives only 1.4%. The gap between the rich and the poor is continuing to grow.

The global economical movement has been supported by political power in the North and in the South. The support has two faces. The authoritarian regimes prevent poor people’s participation in economics and politics, and free politics (sometimes in the face of democratic rhetoric) that is directed by interest of free flow of money. The Indonesian Bishops’ Lenten pastoral letter 1997, for example, mentioned among many other problems, the problem of corruption, collusion and manipulation in all areas of our national life.

"Many people seem to lose more and more their sense of shame: taking advantage of one’s office, position, and opportunities for enriching oneself, one’s family, relatives, close friends and one’s own group".

The economic domination and political imperialism are supported by cultural aggression driven by the new technologies. The hidden and worst agenda of advertising is to produce people’s illusion so far as to hold the principle, that buying, possessing or consuming goods and services are the guarantee of human satisfaction and fulfillment. Sometimes the traditional values of culture are abused to manipulate people and to keep them silent towards the "imperialistic father in an over-extended family" (cronies). Instead of being critical to traditional values in the context of post-traditional social order, these values are abused for economical and political domination.

Religious Response: At the Side of the Power or of the People?

A short glimpse over the phenomenon of globalization brings us to deep impression and concern of its implication. Globalization is not a neutral matter. It is pregnant with ambiguity, with unfair competition and unjust relationship in all areas of life. The political, economical and cultural domination are interconnected. Often religion instead of defending the poor, becomes a part of power’s hegemony.

The national problem is not only caused by foreign impacts; it is also a matter of national condition. The government exercises oppression in many ways. It has means like military, laws and ideology that often supported by cultures and religions. The government knows the importance of economy and the agents of big business need the support from the government. They act in collusion with each other with the expense of workers, farmers and victimized people.

The struggle for social change is faced with a structural difficulty that is strengthened by ideology, information, laws and military. The farmers and the workers (men and women) should organize themselves. By so doing the farmers can become more independent and autonomous. Not like now, rather than being producers they are more consumers of seeds, artificial fertilizer and pesticide that are controlled by the fabrics. Without empowering the farmers enough food can not be available. The workers should organize themselves, so that they are strong enough to struggle for their interest, so that they can participate in the process of production and take part in the profit. People and groups as many as possible should take part. But the first actors are the poor, the exploited themselves. Without their participation there will be no real social change. In other words, the way to follow is empowering the poor, promoting movement from below.

One of the impacts of globalization is the rise of fundamentalism (cf. Giddens 1994: 6-7, 245) that shows itself not only in religion, but also in family (nepotism), in ethnicity and race (primordialism) as well as in gender (patriarchy). Christians are not free from this temptation. The danger of fundamentalism lies in its refusal for dialogue and its potential for violence. In this condition, it has not been difficult for the military, and other interested parties, to manipulate religion and ethnicity in order to set one group against another and to divide and rule, devide et impera. The dominated and marginalized people become more powerless.

Religion is not a neutral phenomenon. It can be religion of the powerful or of the poor. Religion can legitimize injustice or defend the poor and the marginalized, live for justice and humanity. Being Christian is to follow Jesus Christ as the Way, to be with Him where He is and to do what He did and is doing. Consequently, orthopraxis has priority over orthodoxy, and both needs to be contextually performed. With the poor, God has an agreement to ally against Mammon, against the absolutization of power and wealth. Jesus is the symbol of the conflict between God and Mammori, between God’s kinship and Anti-God’s kinship, between positive and negative power. The criterion of following the Way is preferential option for and with the poor and the marginalized, whose primacy should be struggled for.

The Church’s preferential option for (and with) the poor and the marginalized need to be manifested concretely in all areas of life, economics, politics, culture and ecology. We should be aware however that the poor are not just objects of charity, they are also agents of social change. As for all human beings, their dignity comes from being made in the image of God, being co-responsible for the creation. Therefore, the most appreciative service for them is to be with them in such a way that they are able to empower themselves and to control their own lives (cf. Giddens 1993:208-231; 1994: 14-15). The efforts for the empowerment of the poor are the manifestations of option for the poor, which is centered in the poor themselves.

We need to be grateful that in Asia there are movements of justice, compassion and solidarity. We observe among the youth, intellectuals, legal advocates and nongovernmental organizations, inter-faith movements, efforts to empower people, to stand at the side of the victims, to defend the rights of children and women. The women’s movement supporting the victims and to struggling against violence has manifested sensitivity for life and brought extensive impact. The community consciousness of legal values, freedom and justice, as well as cultural and traditional rights is increasing. We also experience universal trends to cooperate in the promotion of human dignity and human rights as well as democracy. All of these are the signs of God’s presence and action in our life in Asia.

It is also a really promising sign that Asian contextual and liberative theologies are flourishing everywhere (see Pieris 1988, Amaladoss 1997). Hopefully these theologies can serve not only as intellectus fidei but also as intellectus amoris et compassionis to help people of faith to be compassionate and loving God and the afflicted.

The Church is called to live not for herself, but to be open to follow Christ witnessing God’s kinship. A new way of being and living Church that is more flexible to face current challenges can be described as communion of contextual communities, namely Basic Christian (Ecumenical) Community towards Basic Human Community and Basic Inter-Faith Community as a community of dialogue and transformation. The call for global ethic can be put in a framework of globalization of solidarity, or "globalization from below". The imperialistic globalization should be met with a counter strategy, namely a culture of networking among contextual communities towards globalization without marginalization, towards building a worldwide community of justice, peace and integrity of creation. God is calling us to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in praxis; we are called to live out risk-taking solidarity with the victims. The credibility of our witness needs to be gained through our honest and sincere attitudes, words and acts.

The Problem of Debt

One of the problems within the context of globalization is international debt. It is an example of international unjust relationship involving the debtor countries as well as the creditors. Take an example of Indonesia. "During the New Order period, the World Bank provided $30 billion in loan to Indonesian government. But due to existing culture of corruption, 30% of the aid was misappropriated. Finance has come to means of stealing and accumulation of wealth through the public fund without control" (Winters 1999: 90). J. A. Winters describes the fact as criminal debt. For more than 30 years the World Bank continued to give loan even when it knew that a big amount of the money was stolen. (Winters 1999: 124). Therefore, there is enough reason for Indonesia to demand cancellation of all or at least part of that criminal debt. Yosef P. Widyatmadja thinks in the same direction and offers suggestion how decrease in debt can be used as a way to seek the balance of the right of living and sharing natural resources (Widyatmadja 1999: 127).

The Catholic tradition has offered some considerations about the problem of debt at least since Pope Paul VI.

"Rates of interest and time for repayment of the loan could be so arranged as not to be too great a burden on either party, taking into account free gifts, interest-free or low-interest loans, and the time needed for liquidating the debts" (Populorum Progressio 1967, no. 54).

The encyclical letter of John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1987, No 19.3-5; cf. Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission 1986) depicts the situation of foreign debt as follows:

"The reason which prompted the developing peoples to accept the offer of abundantly available capital was the hope of being able to invest it in development projects. Thus the availability of capital and the fact of accepting it as a loan can be considered a contribution to development something desirable and legitimate in itself even though perhaps imprudent and occasionally hasty.

Circumstances having changed both within the debtor nations and in the international financial market, the instrument chosen to make a contribution to development has turned into a counterproductive mechanism. This is because the debtor nations, in order to service their debt, find themselves obliged to export the capital needed for improving or at least maintaining their standard of living. It is also because, for the same reason, they are unable to obtain new and equally essential financing.

Through this mechanism, the means intended for the development of peoples has turned into a brake upon development instead, and indeed in some cases has even aggravated underdevelopment."

U.S. Catholic Conference Administrative Board has raised the principles of justice, solidarity and the common good and offers the following criteria:

  1. The primary objective ought to be to assist in revitalizing the economies of the debt- burdened countries and to help poor people participate in their quality of life; in general, the greatest help should be provided for the greatest need.

  2. Any debt solution ought to preserve the basic human rights of the people and the autonomy and independence of the debtor nation.

  3. Responsibility for the solution ought to be shared equitably by both creditors and debtor countries, especially by the wealthier segments of their societies; the burden should not continue to be borne disproportionately by the poor people.

  4. The solution should not increase the debt; generally, less money going out of the country is better than more money coming in.

  5. Some immediate benefit should be obtained by the debtor country, especially for poor people.

  6. Criteria established, for adjusting debt should take into account the extent to which those responsible are accountable to their people and how human rights are fostered and protected in the debtor country, what the money was borrowed for, how it was used, what kinds of efforts the country has made or is making to develop as well as repay, and how the debtor nation proposes to reform its economy, including how to deal with capital flight.

  7. Any acceptable solution ought to recognize and attempt to relieve external factors beyond the control of the debtor country which tend to aggravate or perpetuate the burden -- e.g., interest rates, commodity prices, trade barriers, budged deficits and geopolitical considerations. The global economy should be managed in the interest of eciuity and justice; participation of the poor ought to be central test of the morality of the system.

  8. Proposed solutions ought to enhance the ability of the debtor nation to pursue independent, self-reliant, particivatory, sustainable development. This consideration should receive high priority in any judgment as to the country’s ability to service a discounted debt -- i.e., the amount of debt the country can reasonably be expected to manage fairly. (312-313).

Again on the 100th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum John Paul II has written an encyclical Centesimus Annus, that also has concern for the problem of debt.

"At present, the positive efforts which have been made along these lines are being affected by the still largely unsolved problem of the foreign debt of the poorer countries. The principle that debts must be paid is certainly just. However, it is not right to demand or expect payment when the effect would be the imposition of political choices leading to hunger and despair for entire peoples. It cannot be expected that the debts which have been contracted should be paid at the price of unbearable sacrifices. In such cases it is necessary to find -- as in fact is partly happening -- ways to lighten, defer or even cancel the debt compatible with the fundamental right of peoples to subsistence and progress" (CA 35.4).

The problem of debt is one of the challenges to live out global justice and solidarity, the progress and participation of all, the priority of the poor’s rights to live (cf. Mueller 1996). By entering the year 2000 we are called to proclaim the Jubilee, the joyful message to the poor, freedom from all kinds of slavery. Let the Churches become symbols of Emmanuel, God dwelling among us. God began the good work in Asia, God is now doing good work in Asia, and God will bring it to completion.

References

Amaladoss, M.,1997 Life in Preedom. Liberation Theologies from Asia. Maryknoll. NY. Orbis Books.
Boff, Cludovis and Pixley, George V.,1989 The Bible, the Church and the Poor. Maryknoll. NY. Orbis Books.
Pieris, Aloysius 1988 An Asian Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll. NY. Orbis Book.
Pieris, Aloysius, 1996, Fire and Water. Basic Issues in Asian Buddhism and Ghristianity. Maryknoll, NY. Orbis Books.
Giddens, Anthony,1987,Modernity and Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Cambridge. Polity Press & Blackwell Publishers.
Giddens, Anthony,1994 Beyond Left and Right. The Future of Radical Politics. Stanford University Press.
Kueng, Hans (Ed.) 19% Yes to a Global Ethic. New York. Continuum.
Kurien, C.T.1997 "Globalization -- What is it about?" In Voices from the Third World. EATWOT. Vol. XX No.2:15-25.
Mangunwijaya, Y.B.,1998 "Globalisasi adalah Neokolonialisme Ekonomi dan Budaya". Kompas. 24 Januari 1998.
Mueller, Johannes 1996 "Die internationale Schuldenkrise - em ethische Problem". In: Ethik in der Wirtschaft: Chancen verantwortlichen Handelns. Hrsg. v. Joerg Becker. Stuttgart (Kohlhammer): 99-114.
Paul VI, 1967 Populorum Progressio. Encyclical Letter.
Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission, 1987 "An Ethical Approach to the International Debt Question". In: origins. Vol. 16. No, 34:601,603-611.
U.S. Catholic Conference Administrative Board, 1989 "Relieving Third World Debt: A Call to Coresponsibility, Justice and Solidarity". In Origins Vol. l9No. 19: 305, 307-314.
Widyatmadja, Yosef P., 1999 "Beban Hutang, Hak Hidup dan Milenium Pembebasan". In: Wacana. No. III:127133.
Winters, Jeffrey A.,1999 "Hutang Kriminal, Bank Duma dan Korupsi di Indonesia". In: Wacana. No. III:90-126.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),1992 Human Development Report 1992. New York. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

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* Presented as an introduction to discussion at the seminar on "Freedom from Debt Campaign Training", CCA, Chiang Mai, Thailand, December 1999. The full article with diagrams can be found on DAGA's website.

 

2. NEWS in Brief - top
 

WASHINGTON DC

U.S. GOV’T CLOSES DOWN VENUE OF FILIPINO-LED FORUM AGAINST IMF-WB

The People’s Campaign Against Imperialist Globalization (PCAIG) deplored the U.S. government for causing the closure of a university hall where U.S.-based Filipinos and other people of color were to hold a symposium in line with the protests surrounding the Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington D.C.

The forum titled "Imperialist Globalization: Its Impact on the Environment and Human Rights" was to be held at George Washington University’s Corcoran Hall on April 15. Government and school officials announced on April 10 that they were closing the universiy to outsiders.

The forum, sponsored by Amnesty International, was one of the activities under the Filipino-led People’s Assembly Against IMF-WB.

Last year, the PCAIG was also refused a permit to stage a rally in Seattle during the World Trade Organization summit. However, this did not stop them from pushing through with the march and joining thousands of others in a historic show of protest against globalization.

The closure of George Washington University is among the latest in a string of measures taken by the U.S. government against protesters now gathering at the U.S. capital. Several other national and international organizations will be staging teach-ins and marches reminiscent of last year’s "shutdown" of the WTO.

BURMA

FORCED LABOUR PERSIST IN BURMA

ILO applies extraordinary Constitutional procedures

In an action unprecedented in the ILO's 80-year history, the Organization's Governing Body has set in motion a discussion in its June 2000 Conference, which could result in an appeal to its other 174 member States to review their relationship with the Government of Burma and to take appropriate measures to ensure that Burma "cannot take advantage of such relations to perpetuate or extend the system of forced or compulsory labour" practised against the country's citizens.

Invoking for the first time article 33 of the ILO Constitution, the Organization's Governing Body recommended that the International Labour Conference, meeting in Geneva in June this year, "take such action as it may deem wise and expedient to secure compliance" by Burma with the recommendations of a 1998 Commission of Inquiry.

Article 33 is designed for use only in the event of a country failing to carry out the recommendations of an ILO Commission of Inquiry, which is itself a procedure reserved for grave and persistent violations of international labour standards.

The 1998 Commission concluded that "the obligation to suppress the use of forced or compulsory labour is violated in Burma in national law as well as in actual practice in a widespread and systematic manner, with total disregard for the human dignity, safety, health and basic needs of the people."

An updated report by the ILO Director-General Juan Somavia examined new evidence of the situation and concluded that an order issued by the Government of Burma on 14 May 1999 does not exclude the imposition of forced labour in violation of the Convention, and "in actual practice, forced or compulsory labour continues to be imposed in a widespread manner." It detailed instances of forced labour imposed especially by the military in contradiction to the Government's assertion that forced labour is never applied in the country.

These include such activities as forced portering, cultivating food for the army, use of forced labourers as messengers, sentries, builders and for a variety of other duties, including harsh work on railroads, canals and other infrastructure development. It also includes forced sex for the military. Failure to comply with the demands of the military authorities can and have resulted in the arrest and torture of those resisting.

Proposed measures will ensure future scrutiny of labour practices in Burma within the ILO's Committee of Experts, its Governing Body and the Conference and - if the country does not respond to calls for it to cooperate with the ILO - will likely deepen its isolation within the ILO. An extraordinary Conference resolution adopted in 1999 decreed that the Government of Burma "should cease to benefit from any technical cooperation or assistance of the ILO, except for the purpose of direct assistance to implement immediately the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry."

The Director-General expressed his hope that "Burma would respond to the urgent appeal of the Governing Body and immediately take the urgent action necessary to putting an end to the intolerable practice of forced labour and cooperate with the ILO." He warned if Burma persists in ignoring the expressed will of the Organization, "the Governing Body's historic decision opens the way for the Conference to enlist the support of ILO constituents, the United Nations, governments and international organizations worldwide to review their dealings with Burma to ensure that by their involvement they are in no way contributing to the perpetuation of this grievous human rights abuse."

The recent Governing Body decision, which was adopted without vote and was categorically rejected by the Government Representative of Burma, is the latest in a long series of ILO findings and efforts to eliminate forced labour in that country. Burma has already been rebuked by the ILO's supervisory committees on the application of labour standards for abuse of the Forced Labour Convention on numerous occasions. Last year's Conference already decreed that "the attitude and behaviour of the Government of Burma are grossly incompatible with the conditions and principles governing membership of the Organization," a view that was echoed by a number of speakers at the recent Governing Body session.

THAILAND

'Beach' closure proves damage, say activists

BANGKOK: The Thailand beach featured in Leonardo DiCaprio's movie The Beach has been closed for restoration, which local authorities say proves their claim the atoll's environment was damaged in filming, reports said.

"By closing down the beach, the Royal Forestry Department had tacitly admitted that the environment around the beach had deteriorated because of the controversial movie production," Krabi Provincial administration chief Somsak Kittithorrakul told the Bangkok Post.

Maya beach, where the movie was filmed, was closed by the Royal Forestry department recently.

For three years, Somsak led a campaign opposing the shooting of the film on Maya beach.

When 20th Century Fox was granted a licence to shoot on Maya beach, Somsak and other opponents sued the film company, Thailand's agriculture minister and the Royal Forestry Department.

They claimed Fox was given the go-ahead without the necessary environmental and social impact studies being carried out. They said the film company ruined the island's fragile eco-system through alterations designed to paint Maya beach as a paradise island.

They have sought compensation of about 100 million baht ($2.5 mil) in the on-going trial.--AFP

BANGLADESH

Bangladeshi Garment Workers Campaign for Weekly Holiday

Bangladeshi garments workers have started campaign and action for the implementation of weekly holiday. In a campaign title GARMENT WORKERS WANT TO LIVE - WE DEMAND WEEKLY HOLIDAY ON EVERY FRIDAY, National Garments Workers Federation announched the program through a press conference on 23rd March in its central office.

There are 1.5 million garment workers are working in 2700 garments in Bangladesh, of which 80% are women. Garments cover 76% of the total export of the country and is the highest profitable industry but has the worst working conditions for workers. Presently, the minimum wage of the garment workers is TK800 ($16) and avarage wage for the operator is TK1350 ($28). Workers work 14 to 16 hours a day and 7 days in a week. They also face other problems such as irregular payment, forced overtime, bad working environment and unjust termination.

***[Weekly holiday is the legal right of the garment workers according to the labour law, I.L.O convention , Human rights declaration even the country,s contitution. But the garments owners are not folloing the law. In absence of weekly holiday the workers are in inhuman condition. They are becoming isolated from their parents, children, families and societies. On the other hand day by day they becominy sick and going to death. They are faching serious tipe of deseases .The condition of the women workers are in more danger. They are not able to give at least one day for their family, children and husband. So a countable women are Faching devorce by their husband. ]***

National Garments Workers Federation had started the campaign for the weekly holiday in 1995. As a result of this campaign ,in 1997 BGMEA ( Bangladesh Garments Manufacturures and Exporters Association )had signed 4 points MOU including the weekly holiday with the Trade union organazations in this sector including the NGWF. But till now BGMEA did not implemented the 4 points MOU even the weekly holiday.

 

3. Urgent APPEAL - top
 

INDONESIA: Possible "disappearances"/Fear of torture or ill-treatment/Fear for safety
AI Index: ASA 21/20/00
3 April 2000
EXTRA 29/00 Possible "disappearances"/Fear of torture or ill-treatment/Fear for safety

INDONESIA:
Usman Jalil, 40
Darman, 35
Abdullah bin Haji Syamuan, 40
Ibrahim Ismail, 45
Abdurrahman, 35
Sulaiman Yusuf, 22
Ishak bin Haji Karim, 35
Usman bin Abdullah, 65, farmer
Sulaiman Sabi, 40, farmer
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of the men named above who are at risk of being tortured or ill-treated after they were reportedly arrested by the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI), Indonesian National Army in Aceh on 1 and 2 April 2000.

Usman Jalil, Darman, Abdullah bin Haji Syamuan, Ibrahim Ismail, Abdurrahman, Sulaiman Yusuf, Ishak bin Haji Karim and one other were reportedly arrested on 1 April during a sweeping operation to round up members of the armed opposition group, the Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM) Free Aceh Movement. All are from Menasah Asan village, Simpang Ulim Sub-district, East Aceh, except for one unnamed man. They are reportedly being held at a military post in Alue Ie Itam, Julok Sub-district, East Aceh.

Usman bin Abdullah and Sulaiman Sabi, from Deah Temanah village, Trienggadeng Sub-district, Pidie District, were arrested in the evening of 2 April as they reportedly drove past some military personnel on their motorbike in Jurang Berangkat. Their arrest came after two other motorcyclists had apparently just passed by, but had refused to stop when ordered to do so by the military. The two farmers are reportedly being held either at the Trienggadeng Koramil or at the Pidie District Military Command (Kodim). The TNI have confiscated their motorbike.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The human rights situation in Aceh continues to deteriorate with unconfirmed reports that over 200 people have been killed there this year during military and police counterinsurgency operations against GAM. Dozens have also been arrested during "sweeping operations" by the security forces to round up GAM members.

In recent weeks, human rights defenders and humanitarian workers have faced increased harassment, intimidation and arrests by the security forces.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:

- expressing concern at the reported arrest by the TNI in Aceh of Usman Jalil, Darman, Abdullah bin Haji Syamuan, Ibrahim Ismail, Abdurrahman, Sulaiman Yusuf, Ishak bin Haji Karim and one other, and Usman bin Abdullah and Sulaiman Sabi on 1 and 2 April 2000;

- urging the authorities to establish and make public their whereabouts;

- asking that, if they have been arrested, they be released immediately unless they are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence;

- urging the authorities to guarantee their safety and ensure that they are given immediate access to their families, lawyers and any medical treatment they may need;

- calling on the authorities to issue immediate instructions to the security forces to halt all arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and ill-treatment, "disappearances" and unlawful killings.

APPEALS TO (please note that fax numbers to Indonesia are difficult to get through to):

Major General Affandi
Military Commandar for Aceh
Pangdam I/Bukit Barisan
Markas Besar KODAM I
Medan
Sumatra Utara
Indonesia
Telegrams: Major General Affandi, Medan, Indonesia
Salutation: Dear Commander

Minister of Defence and Security
Dr Juwono Sudarsono
Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 13-14
Jakarta Pusat 10110
Indonesia
Telegrams: Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan, Jakarta, Indonesia
Faxes: + 62 21 381 4535 / 384 5178
Salutation: Dear Minister

COPIES TO:

Mr Hasballah M. Saad
State Minister for Human Rights Affairs
Jl Kuningan Timur M 2/5
Jakarta 12950
Indonesia
Faxes: + 62 21 525 0075 / 525 0139

and to diplomatic representatives of Indonesia accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or
your section office, if sending appeals after 1 May 2000.

 

4. ANNOUNCEMENT - top

 

 


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