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Assassinations Development: Kopassus Pressure Cited as TV One Cancels Live Interview at Last Minute

Allan Nairn

In this Monday, Dec. 22, 2003, photo, Indonesian elite soldiers of Special Forces Commandos (KOPASSUS) sporting their signature red beret march during a parade at a ceremony commemorating the 58th anniversary of the Indonesian Army in Jakarta, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

As I was making my way to their studio for our agreed live interview on Indonesian armed forces (TNI) assassinations, I received a call with the news that TV One, the Indonesian national news channel, had canceled my appearance due to pressure from Kopassus.

Kopassus, the army's special forces is one of the units which I reported has been involved in the assassination of political activists in Aceh. President Obama reportedly wants to boost US aid to Kopassus, and my report has apparently created a political crisis for Indonesia's armed forces and the US.

Even though TV One had agreed to interview me alone for 15 to 30 minutes, they decided unilaterally -- without telling me -- that they would only let me on air if the Kopassus commander, Gen. Lodewijk was there to rebut me.

I would have been glad to face and question the General, but the catch was that the General refused to face me.

So, due to Kopassus my live TV One interview was canceled.

General Lodewijk and TNI, why are you afraid to face the facts?

And TV One, why are you afraid to let me discuss them live, as you agreed?

Allan Nairn (
is an award-winning U.S.
investigative journalist who became
well-known when he was imprisoned by the Indonesian
military while reporting in East
Timor. His writings have focused on U.S. foreign policy in such
countries as Haiti,
Indonesia, and East Timor.  In 1993, Nairn and Amy Goodman received the
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial First Prize for International Radio award
for their reporting on East Timor. In 1994, Nairn won the George Polk
Award for Journalism for Magazine Reporting. Also in 1994, Nairn
received the The James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for
his writing on Haiti for The Nation magazine.


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