Amnesty International Disappointed by U.S. Government Decision to Train Suspected Human Rights Violators in Indonesian Military

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Amnesty International Disappointed by U.S. Government Decision to Train Suspected Human Rights Violators in Indonesian Military

Urges President Obama to Meet the Families of those Killed by the Kopassus during Upcoming Visit

WASHINGTON - Amnesty International
today expressed disappointment in the announcement from the Department
of Defense that the United States will provide training to the Indonesian
Special Forces unit, Kopassus, which is known for grave human rights violations.
The following statement can be attributed to T. Kumar, AIUSA's director
for international advocacy.    

"Amnesty International is disappointed by
the decision that U.S. forces will train the Kopassus unit. It sends the
wrong message in a country where mass and severe human rights violations
have taken place in an atmosphere of impunity. U.S. support to this unit
undercuts the recent efforts advocating reform within the Indonesian military.
 Amnesty International calls upon the U.S. administration to make
public what commitments they received from the Indonesian authorities about
bringing Kopassus military leaders to justice and also calls upon President
Obama, in his upcoming visit to Indonesia, to speak publicly about human
rights abuses in Indonesia and to meet the families of those killed by
the Kopassus.

The Kopassus unit has been linked to serious
human rights violations in Indonesia including killings and torture in
East Timor, Papua, Aceh and elsewhere. Amnesty International calls for
all crimes allegedly perpetrated by Kopassus members and others in the
Indonesian military to be brought to court in proceedings that meet fair
trail standards and victims should receive reparations.

While the Secretary of Defense offered assurances
that all training will be conducted within the confines of U.S. law and
that the collaboration does not weaken U.S. support of human rights, Amnesty
International recommends that background screenings be conducted prior
to any Indonesian military official suspected of involvement in human rights
abuses, before receiving  U.S.-backed training."

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