Aceh Under Martial Law: Muzzling the Messengers

Attacks and Restrictions on the Media

[1] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], international aid worker, [location withheld], Indonesia, June 17, 2003.

[2] Human Rights Watch interview with Heru Hendratmoko, Program Director, Radio 68h, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[3] The latest figures appeared in "Aceh toll rises," Laksamana.net, October 19, 2003.

[4] "Youths massacred in Aceh Village," BBC News World Edition, May 23, 2003; "Indonesia sends hundreds more troops to Aceh, says 29 rebels killed," Agence France-Presse, May 22, 2003; "Young Blood," Time Asia, June 2, 2003.

[5] Human Rights Watch is concerned that the Indonesian military may follow the Aceh precedent in other parts of Indonesia.One worrying sign is that there may be moves by the government of Indonesia to implement similar restrictions on foreign correspondents who wish to travel to Papua, in the easternmost part of Indonesia's archipelago, which is also facing an armed insurgency.On September 17, 2003, two foreign reporters were temporarily detained in Timika, Papua, for not having special permits.The police in Papua initially told the detained reporters that they were not allowed to report outside of Jakarta, let alone in Papua.The detention lasted for at least two days before the journalists were finally returned to Jakarta.

[6] A few recent examples include:On October 27, 2003 Supratman, a senior editor of the daily Jakarta newspaper Rakyat Merdeka, was found guilty by a Jakarta court for insulting President Megawati. Supratman had been charged under articles 134 and 137 of Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana (KUHP, Indonesian Criminal Code).The judge in the case handed down a six-month suspended jail sentence and one year of probation; On September 9, 2003, Karim Paputungan, also an editor with Rakyat Merdeka, was found guilty of defamation and sentenced to five months in prison by the South Jakarta District Court.The charges and conviction relate to a caricature of convicted Indonesian House of Representatives speaker, Akbar Tandjung, which appeared in a January 8, 2003, edition of the newspaper; Tempo is also currently besieged by a host of damaging lawsuits brought by business tycoon Tommy Winata, after an article appeared in the magazine criticizing the businessman.On March 8, 2003, a mob of about two hundred of his supporters attacked Tempo's offices.During police negotiations to calm the situation down three senior Tempo staff were beaten by some of the mob members, in front of police officers, inside the Central Jakarta police station.One of the attackers was later acquitted of all charges.

[7] Rita A. Widiadana, "Megawati tries to ease tension with media," The Jakarta Post, February 10, 2003.

[8] Fabiola Desy Unidjaja, "Megawati boasts about RI's press freedom before Japanese media," The Jakarta Post, June 24, 2003.

[9] "Covering both sides a tough challenge in Aceh war," The Jakarta Post, May 23, 2003.

[10] Human Rights Watch interview with Ati Nurbaiti, Head of AJI (Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, Alliance of Independent Journalists), Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[11] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], foreign newspaper correspondent, Jakarta, July 3, 2003.

[12] NKRI (Negara Kesatuan Republic Indonesia, Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia).

[13] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian newspaper journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[14] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian newspaper journalist, Jakarta, July 3, 2003.

[15] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[16] Human Rights Watch telephone interview [name withheld], Indonesian news website journalist, Aceh, July 7, 2003.

[17] KODIM (Komando Distrik Militer, Military District Command).

[18] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003

[19] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[20] Acheh-Sumatra National Liberation Front Teuntara Neugara Atjeh (TNA), Press Release, July 3, 2003.Aceh is sometimes spelled Acheh.

[21] Human Rights Watch telephone interview [name withheld], Indonesian news website journalist, Aceh, July 7, 2003.

[22] Open Letter, "AJI Jakarta kepada jurnalis berseragam TNI," AJI Jakarta, May 15, 2003.

[23] Committee to Protect Journalists, "Indonesia: Military curbs press coverage in Aceh," May 23, 2003.

[24] "Military Inquires into Aceh shootings," The Sydney Morning Herald, May 26, 2003; "Don't shoot the messengers," The Jakarta Post, May 29, 2003.

[25] Committee to Protect Journalists, "Indonesia: Journalists attacked by gunmen in Aceh," May 29, 2003.

[26] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian television reporter, Jakarta, July 7, 2003.

[27]Andrew Marshall, "Dead Silence: Indonesia's military is being given a free hand to strangle Aceh," Time, June 9, 2003.

[28] Reporters without Borders, "Indonesia: Cameraman murdered in Aceh," June 26, 2003.

[29] Tiarma Siboro, "Protests mount over the killing of 'TVRI' cameraman," The Jakarta Post, June 21, 2003.

[30] SGI are Indonesia's Military Intelligence Services.

[31] The Indonesian military have color-coded areas of Aceh to indicate the level of security in each area.

[32] "68H journalist beaten in Aceh," Press Release, Radio News Agency 68H, July 4, 2003; Chronology of Beating, received via phone from Alif Imam Nurlambang, July 4, 2003; Muninggar Sri Saraswati, "Military troops' brutal assault on journalist in Aceh revealed," The Jakarta Post, July 5, 2003.

[33] Committee to Protect Journalists, "RCTI Journalists Missing in Aceh," Letter to President Megawati Sukarnoputri, July 2, 2003; International Federation of Journalists, Letter to General Endriartono Sutarto, July 4, 2003; "'RCTI' journalists disappear in Aceh," The Jakarta Post, July 1, 2003; Tiarma Siboro and Nani Farida, "Fate of `RCTI' crew missing in Aceh remains unclear," The Jakarta Post, July 3, 2003.

[34] "Wartawan RCTI Ada di Markas GAM," Tempo, July 3, 2003; "Aceh rebels claim to hold missing RCTI crew and two civilians," Agence-France Presse, July 3, 2003.

[35] Aan Suryana, "12 rebels killed in Aceh, 'RCTI' minivan found," The Jakarta Post, July 6, 2003.

[36] "TNI Duga Wartawan RCTI di Sarang GAM," Tempo, July 2, 2003; "Yudhoyono Berharap Kerjasama Ersa Siregar," Tempo, July 16, 2003.

[37] "Wapemred RCTI Bertemu Pihak GAM," Tempo, July 7, 2003; A'an Suryana and Tiarma Siboro, "Journalists questioned over 'RCTI,'" The Jakarta Post, July 9, 2003.

[38] One possible theory for the kidnappings is GAM initially wanted to kidnap Syafrida and Soraya as both women are wives of Indonesian naval officers. The Indonesian military has a history of detaining wives of GAM fighters, indicating that this may have been a retaliatory kidnapping by GAM.

[39] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[40] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[41] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[42] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[43] In mid-May media reports implicated the Indonesian military in the summary execution of six civilians in Cot Raboe, including two twelve-year old boys. See Human Rights Watch, "Aceh Under Martial Law: Human Rights Under Fire," June 5, 2003; "Indonesian troops accused of massacre," The Guardian, May 22, 2003; "Children massacred by military in Aceh," The Age, May 23, 2003.

[44] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], foreign newspaper correspondent, Jakarta, July 3, 2003.

[45] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], foreign wire correspondent, Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[46] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[47] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian television reporter, Jakarta, July 7, 2003.

[48] Interview with Todung Mulya Lubis, "Aceh war sparks a culture of fear within media industry," The Jakarta Post, June 18, 2003.

[49] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], foreign wire correspondent, Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[50] U.N. Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Activity : Daily Situation Report on Aceh No.7, May 22, 2003; T. Yulianti, "Liputan Pers tentang Operasi Militer," Suara Pembaruan, May 27, 2003.

[51] "Indonesia Raya" is Indonesia's national anthem.

[52] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian radio journalist, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[53] "Pembatasan Pers Dapat Jadi Bumerang bagi Militer," Sinar Harapan, May 24, 2003; "Media asked to be responsible," The Jakarta Post, May 24, 2003.

[54] "TNI to sue 'Koran Tempo' over alleged false report," The Jakarta Post, May 28, 2003.

[55] "Military inquires into Aceh shootings," Sydney Morning Herald, May 26, 2003; "Indonesian army claims shot boys were spies," South China Morning Post, May 28, 2003.

[56] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian newspaper journalist, Jakarta, July 3, 2003.

[57] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], foreign television reporter, Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[58] Committee to Protect Journalists, "Indonesia: Military curbs press coverage in Aceh," May 23, 2003.

[59] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian television producer, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[60] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian television reporter, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[61] Pangdam (Panglima Daerah Militer, Military Area Commander).

[62] SMS Cellular phone text messaging.

[63] Roadside artists.

[64] Human Rights Watch interview with Dandhy Dwi Laksono, Jakarta, June 30, 2003.

[65] Moch. N. Kurniawan, "Journalist dismissed after Aceh interview," The Jakarta Post, June 16, 2003; Robert Go,"Journalist: I was fired over torture report," The Straits Times, June 18, 2003; "Terpental karena Aceh?," Tempo, June 29, 2003.

[66] JFCC Letter to Co-ordinating Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Minister Hassan Wirajuda, Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[67] Matthew Moore, "German Tourist in Aceh Killed by Military," Sydney Morning Herald, June 6, 2003, "Tourist Couple Shot in Aceh," The Guardian, June 5, 2003.

[68] Openg Onn, "NST Journalists In Acheh Fly Home After Police Questioning," Bernama, June 8, 2003.

[69] Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province is the official name for the province of Aceh.

[70] Decree No. 43 of 2003 of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as Central Military Authority, "The Arrangement of Activities of Foreigners, Non-Government Organizations and the Press in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province," June 16, 2003, sec. 3.

[71] Media Advisory on visit to Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Directorate of Information and Media Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jakarta, June 24, 2003.

[72] OCHA: Indonesia Consolidated Situation Report No. 135, June 28 - July 4, 2003; Nani Farida, "Aceh Off-Limits to Foreigners," The Jakarta Post, June 27, 2003.

[73]"Freed US journalist to be barred from entering Indonesia for a year," Agence France-Presse, August 4, 2003; "Indonesia releases American journalist," Associated Press, August 3, 2003; Nani Farida, "American journalist declared a suspect," The Jakarta Post, June 26, 2003.

[74] JFCC Letter to Co-ordinating Minister for Security Affairs, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hassan Wirajuda, Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[75] "Indonesian Military Detains Japanese Photographer In Aceh," Associated Press, June 27, 2003; Anton Aliabbas, "Fotografer Jepang Diberangkatkan ke Medan," detik.com, June 28, 2003.

[76] Bakornas PBP (Indonesia's National Co-coordinating Body for the Management of Disaster and IDPs/Refugees) is now responsible for the consideration of requests for Blue Book passes for foreigners wishing to enter Aceh.Agencies and international actors that require blue books need to send a letter to the Co-ordinating Ministry of Social Welfare and to Bakornas. These requests will be evaluated and, if recommended by Bakornas, the Office of the Coordinating Minister will send a letter to the Ministry of Justice on the basis of which a Blue Book pass will be issued. The pass allows a single entry for a maximum of fourteen days with one extension at the province for a further fourteen days. After twenty-eight days the pass will expire and the bearer will have to leave Aceh in order to apply for the renewal of the pass, and re-start the whole procedure again.

[77] Decree No. M.02.IZ.01.10 of 2003 of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia, "Granting Permits for Foreigners to Visit and Conduct Activities in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province," June 30, 2003, sec. 5d.

[78] JFCC Letter to Co-ordinating Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Minister Hassan Wirajuda, Jakarta, June 27, 2003 (emphasis added).

[79] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], foreign wire correspondent, Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[80] Shawn Donnan, "Indonesians text messages of support for Aceh clampdown," The Financial Times, July 21, 2003; Human Rights Watch email communication [name withheld], Jakarta foreign correspondent, August 8, 2003.

[81] "Indonesian Army clamps down on information in Aceh," ABC Radio National, August 31, 2003.

[82] John Aglionby, "Battered people of Aceh take time out to party as Jakarta's crackdown drags on," The Guardian, August 20, 2003.

[83] Human Rights Watch email communication [name withheld], foreign bureau chief, September 18, 2003.

[84] Human Rights Watch telephone interview [name withheld], Indonesian news website journalist, Aceh, July 7, 2003.

[85] Committee to Protect Journalists, "Letter to Megawati Expressing Concern About Restrictions on Media in Aceh," June 27, 2003.

[86] Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Indonesian photographer, Jakarta, June 27, 2003.

[87] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948).

[88] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), G.A. res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N.GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, entered into force Mar. 23, 1976.Indonesia is not a party to the ICCPR.

[89] See also ICCPR, art. 4 (derogations of the ICCPR are permissible to the extent they are "determined by law only so far as this may be compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society").

[90] ICCPR, art. 19(3).

[91] The Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1996/39.

[92] The Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1996/39.

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