Indonesian Army Threatens to Arrest US Journalist Over Assassinations Report; Assassination Interview Censored

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CommonDreams.org

Indonesian Army Threatens to Arrest US Journalist Over Assassinations Report; Assassination Interview Censored

Allan Nairn Says Go Ahead, We'll Discuss Murders, US Role, in Court

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Allan Nairn

Indonesian soldiers practice shooting while jumping in 2003. Allan Nairn said he would "be glad to stand in court before the Indonesian public and detail TNI's role in numerous tortures, disappearances, massacres and assassinations." (AFP/File/Inoong)

In response to my report revealing their assassinations of political activists (see posting of March 21, 2010), the US-backed Indonesian armed forces (TNI) are threatening to have me arrested, presumably on criminal defamation charges. (See Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Nurdin Hasan, Jakarta Globe, "Indonesian Military Threatens Legal Action Over Aceh Party Killings Claims.")

I welcome this threat from TNI, a force which has murdered many hundreds of thousands, and challenge them to arrest me so that we can face-off in open court.

I will be glad to stand in court before the Indonesian public and detail TNI's role in numerous tortures, disappearances, massacres and assassinations.

I would welcome the opportunity to enter a formal, public legal proceeding which would afford the opportunity to question TNI Generals under oath.

If given such a chance I would also attempt to call US personnel as witnesses, and question US military, CIA, State Department, and White House officials about their support for TNI. I would ask these Americans why they have given weapons, training and money to TNI, even as they have seen that force repeatedly kill civilians.

The Indonesian justice authorities are famously afraid of the TNI. They have not fulfilled their responsibility to protect society by enforcing the murder laws impartially.

But if they want to arrest me instead of arresting TNI officers, fine.

That will give us a chance to publicly discuss the crimes of the Indonesian -- and US -- governments.

UPDATE: This afternoon METRO TV, a major Indonesian news channel, invited me to come on the air live for 30 minutes at 8pm tonight WIB (Western Indonesia Time) to discuss my recent report on political assassinations by the country's US-backed armed forces (TNI).

I agreed, and when we went on the air, by phone, shortly after 8pm, I urged viewers to go to this website to read the full, detailed report and then began to name the names of TNI people implicated in the killings.

Within a couple of minutes I was pulled off the air. A producer came on the phone and acknowledged that I had just been "censored."

The producer then sent a text message saying: "Really sorry Allan. Suddenly I have a policy from my boss." I asked on the phone what that sudden policy was but the producer would not say. They said there were too many other METRO TV employees within earshot to speak freely about the matter.

As it happens, before being cut-off, I had only named the names of the low-level killers in one of the murders (Tumijan, see posting of March 21, 2010 for details). Who knows what would have happened if I had started out by naming Generals?

This censorship is especially revealing since part of the TNI's strategy in trying to defuse my report is to say generally that it has no specifics, no facts. But when I give them, they pull the plug.

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