Indonesian and GAM forces in Aceh are bound by international humanitarian law (also known as the laws of war). The conflict in Aceh is considered to be a non-international (internal) armed conflict, for which the applicable law includes Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the customary laws of war.42
Common Article 3 provides for the humane treatment of civilians and other persons not taking an active part in the hostilities (including captured members of opposing armed forces). Prohibited at all times are murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; taking of hostages; outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; and summary trials. A fundamental rule of humanitarian law is that the civilian population and individual civilians shall not be the object of attack. Also prohibited are acts or threats of violence against the civilian population that spread terror or the forcible removal of the civilian population without military necessity.
International human rights law remains in effect during an internal armed conflict. This includes prohibitions on extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, punishment without a fair trial, and unnecessary restrictions on the freedom of movement. Fundamental rights of life and liberty may not be infringed upon, even during a state of emergency.43
Since the start of martial law, Indonesian security forces have carried out an unknown number of extra-judicial executions of unarmed civilians in Aceh.45 While the extra-judicial killing of any person – whether civilian or combatant – is a serious violation of international law, every eyewitness to such a killing in Aceh told Human Rights Watch that the victims were not GAM members, were not armed, and were dressed in civilian clothing at the time of execution.46
Of the eighty-five Acehnese interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Malaysia, seven had directly witnessed a summary execution of a civilian by Indonesian security forces since the start of martial law. Three others had discovered bodies of civilians (in two cases their own family members) in close proximity to military operations. Three more had witnessed soldiers firing on civilians where no immediate fatalities resulted. Several others described abductions by the TNI leading to deaths.
There appear to be two types of visible executions currently taking place in Aceh. The first type typically occurs when security forces enter villages during so-called “sweeping operations.” During these raids young men were singled out and shot, and there was no attempt to hide the execution. Families may be told afterwards by soldiers to collect and remove the body for burial.47 The second type of visible killing is of civilians shot while fleeing Indonesian security forces. The deliberate and public nature of these killings suggest that they seek to send a warning to deter villagers from supporting GAM.48 Other extrajudicial killings have occurred when the security forces have taken persons into their custody – and their bodies are later found or they are never heard from again.
An Acehnese man from Lhokseumawe, North Aceh recounted an incident from May:
A twenty-five-year-old who left South Aceh one week after martial law told Human Rights Watch about the first week of martial law:
One man in his twenties told Human Rights Watch about the execution of his brother a week after the declaration of martial law:
A man from Peureulak, East Aceh, described a killing in August:
A thirty-five-year-old also from Peureulak in East Aceh told about the shooting of his brother at the end of July:
Human Rights Watch was also told about two incidents in which residents were gathered together for questioning and in which there were fatalities. A twenty-year-old from a village at the edge of Lhokseumawe, in North Aceh, described the killing of two unarmed men in civilian clothes:
Human Rights Watch learned of four incidents when Indonesian soldiers shot at young men who were running into rice fields of forests to hide from soldiers during sweeping operations. Because of the high level of fear in Aceh of Indonesian security forces, many villagers, especially young men, run and hide when troops enter their village. Witnesses described to Human Rights Watch how some of these men were shot while attempting to escape. Whether they attempted to flee solely because they were afraid of mistreatment or because they were members of GAM is unclear, but witnesses described the victims as apparently unarmed men dressed in civilian clothes.
The twenty-year-old man from a village at the edge of Lhokseumawe, in North Aceh, who described (above) the killing of two men after villagers had been gathered, also described another death that day:
One man who arrived in Malaysia at the end of May described a man shot while fleeing:
Not all shootings are fatal. A twenty-one-year-old from Peureulak, East Aceh described an incident that took place in late September, one month before he arrived in Malaysia:
In a similar incident in East Aceh in the beginning of October, a man told Human Rights Watch:
Whether purposeful or arbitrary, the result of this level of violence against the civilian population in Aceh is likely to have the exact opposite effect of the military’s avowed integrated operation strategy. Aceh’s population is becoming increasingly polarized. The level of serious human rights violations in the province and the impunity that accompanies them is pushing people into the arms of GAM. One eighteen-year-old explained that after being beaten and seeing his parents mistreated he tried to join GAM, only to be prevented by his family (including a brother fighting with GAM):
The fundamental problem remains a lack of accountability at all levels. Soldiers on the ground commit acts of violence and extortion with little fear of punishment. Already high levels of impunity are only increased by the shroud of secrecy placed over the conflict area.
Other killings take place out of the sight of witnesses. One Acehnese man who had been living in Malaysia for five years returned to Aceh in August for a few weeks to visit his sick father. While in Aceh he witnessed TNI soldiers abduct a fifteen-year-old boy:
In some cases bodies are dumped far from the victim’s home, making identification difficult. One thirty-eight-year-old man, who left his home in Banda Aceh the day before martial law, explained how his family had recovered the body of his brother:
During the long years of conflict in Aceh, Indonesian security forces have been frequently implicated in “disappearances.”64 The Aceh branch of the Indonesian human rights organization Kontras has reported that from May 19 to August 18 there were seventy-eight forced disappearances of civilians, though they cautioned that restrictions on monitoring meant that estimates may be low.65
In Aceh, forced disappearances frequently occur after security forces or unknown armed men visit a house at night and take the victim away in a vehicle. This practice is popularly described as ambil malam (taken at night). While in many cases the perpetrators are described as orang tak dikenal (persons unknown), in some cases family members or neighbors are able to identify them. Often the bodies of those who “disappear” are found at the side of the road or in a rice field days or weeks later. In other cases they are never seen again.
One man from a coastal area of Pidie explained that when residents found bodies floating at the shoreline they called the Indonesian Red Cross to evacuate the remains. If a body was identifiable it would be taken to the person’s family. If not, the body would be taken to the hospital or clinic and the word would be put out to families known to be missing a relative.66
One twenty-three-year-old from Bireun explained:
Another man from Pidie told Human Rights Watch:
Many Acehnese interviewed by Human Rights Watch described acts of violence at the hands of security forces as part of everyday life. Much of the violence directed at civilians appears intended to identify GAM members and supporters, or to send a warning to villagers. Victims frequently described being interrogated with the accusation “You’re GAM!” or the questions “Who is GAM? Where is GAM?” Often this violence takes place during sweeping operations in villages, such as during house-to-house searches or when residents are ordered to assemble in a particular place.
In other cases the violence appears to be highly arbitrary, based on the whim of tense and suspicious soldiers and police officers. Many of the Acehnese we spoke to explained that they were mistreated whether or not they did anything wrong (salah atau tak salah). One man who left Aceh in August explained:
In several instances, violence against civilians took place just before or after military operations in GAM areas, indicating impatience at or fear of an elusive target and a failure to distinguish between civilians and armed opposition.
A man who arrived in October from Pidie described an incident in which TNI and Brimob rounded up and assaulted residents, two of them fatally:
The man reported that three weeks later another joint TNI-Brimob operation lined up the men, questioned them, and hit them with rifle butts, while seven women were accused of being inong balee, the GAM’s women’s wing, and forced to strip.73
One forty-year-old from Pidie who arrived in Malaysia in October after two months in Medan described an incident in the weeks before he left Aceh:
One twenty-two-year-old man from Pidie described an incident from early September in which civilians were compelled to take part in military operations:
One twenty-eight-year-old man who arrived at the end of August from East Aceh described the consequences of being caught without a red and white identity card (see below). The incident also illustrates the combination of extortion and violence that has become common on the roads and shops of Aceh:
Violence also may take place during house searches, in an apparent effort to intimidate or extract information. A twenty-three-year-old from Bireun described what happened in September:
One man from Bireun who left Aceh for Malaysia in mid-October told Human Rights Watch:
Another man from East Aceh told Human Rights Watch:
Many of those arrested on suspicion of GAM membership or support are likely to be tried on charges of treason. The TNI information office reported that as of December 4, 1,338 GAM members were in detention, including 912 fighters and 416 supporters. Military authorities had submitted 1,016 cases to the prosecutor’s office, and 561 had already been given verdicts. At least 500 were found guilty and sentenced. In an earlier statement the military said it had released 145 suspects for lack of evidence.80
The non-governmental organization Kontras has reported that many of those detained have been charged with treason (makar), and estimated that as of October just one hundred have been able to obtain legal assistance. Kontras also reported that as of August 18 there were 213 cases of arbitrary arrest or detention.81 A staff member of the Legal Aid Foundation in Aceh reported many of the detainees they represent claimed to have done no more than buy coffee for rebels, attend a few meetings, or help bury suspected insurgents. They also reported that eighty of their clients had suffered abuse during questioning at the hands of the military or police.82
In jailhouse interviews, defendants told a journalist that they had experienced torture during interrogation, and that one-hour trials took place without defense lawyers or witnesses and resulted in sentences of as much as five years. A legal aid lawyer in that article estimated that 40 percent of defendants have no access to a lawyer.83
Interviewees described many cases of TNI or police suddenly arriving and taking a person or persons away. In addition to the cases cited above, an eighteen-year-old from Aceh Besar told Human Rights Watch:
The rapid pace and high numbers, in a province with few working courts, raises serious concerns for due process. It is unknown to what extent prisoners have been processed in accordance with the law, given the lack of information and the extra leeway provided by the legal framework of martial law.
One woman from South Aceh said she was taken into custody in October by the military, and held without charge at the local Koramil. She told Human Rights Watch:
Another man told Human Rights Watch about the arrest of his wife in September:
Nine days after martial law began Aceh regional military commander Major General Endang Suwarya announced that new identity cards would be issued because so many had been stolen by GAM, allowing them to pass through sweepings undetected.87 While this may have indeed been the primary motive, another important motive was to force all Acehnese to present themselves in front of officials. Those who did not were then presumed to be members of GAM. Those without the new identity cards became particular targets of violence and had to curtail their movements significantly.
Instead of the normal Indonesian identity card required nationwide, residents of Aceh are now required to possess a special red and white card, the KTP Merah Putih (Kartu Tanda Penduduk Merah Putih, or red and white identification card). These are the colors of the Indonesian flag.88 The deadline was set for July 31, to be followed by a major inspection and enforcement operation starting August 1.
The issuance of identity cards is not contrary to international law. However, any government restrictions on freedom of movement for reasons of security must have a clear legal basis, and be limited to what is necessary and proportionate; any limits must be the exception, not the norm. In practice, the new identity card requirements have had a significant impact on Acehnese whose cards have been lost, left behind, never obtained, or taken by GAM or Indonesian security forces. As a person can only get a card in his or her home area, anyone who was away when the new requirements were instituted faces risks in traveling home.
Though they needed to have a new KTP to move freely, as the deadline drew close, many Acehnese had not yet received their cards. By late July the head of one district estimated that only 60 percent of residents had the new cards and that he wouldn’t finish the job by the end of the month without assistance from the police and the military.89 A Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement explained that as of August 10, “Seventy percent of the populations who must possess ID card have had the red-and-white card in their hands. The purpose of the introduction of the red-and-white ID card is to separate the civilians from [GAM] members. [GAM] had used a strategy by seizing the civilians’ ID cards to confuse TNI and Police (Polri).”90
One man described the difficulty of getting a card once he had left his home village for the capital of Banda Aceh for safety reasons:
The process of obtaining a new identity card is arduous, requiring prior clearance from the village head, and the signature of the subdistrict military commander, the police chief, and the subdistrict head. Demands for bribes are routine. Several people described paying extra to get their cards, in one case Rp 50,000 (US$6) to the subdistrict head to get a card quickly to leave, in another case Rp 200,000 (US$24).
One man from Pidie, who had been in Malaysia for some time and had returned to Aceh in August, described the process:
One woman from Pidie told Human Rights Watch:
Several of the physical assault incidents described to Human Rights Watch were linked to the red and white identity cards. During the incident above in which the TNI forced villagers to gather and killed three people in a village near Lhokseumawe, North Aceh, a friend of the twenty-year-old witness was beaten:
It appears to be difficult to leave Aceh without a red and white card. The majority of the Acehnese interviewed by Human Rights Watch left Aceh by bus to North Sumatra, and nearly all described repeated inspections for the red and white cards. More than ten reported that young men were removed from the bus they were on, presumably for lacking the cards or for other reasons such as for having a name or a face that matched (or resembled) one on a list at the checkpoint. These detentions typically took place at checkpoints at the border with North Sumatra, at Langsa in East Aceh, or at borders between districts such as between North Aceh and East Aceh.
However, as soon as a traveler crosses the border into the neighboring province of North Sumatra, the KTP Merah Putih becomes a liability, marking individuals as Acehnese and subject to arrest, mistreatment, or extortion.
Many people stay with friends or relatives in Medan, or hide in the forest until they can find a way to travel to Malaysia. There were reports of sweeping operations against Acehnese in the provinces of North Sumatra and Riau.95
One man from Bireun told Human Rights Watch about his journey out of Aceh:
One man who arrived in Malaysia in June told Human Rights Watch about an incident which occurred on his bus journey from North Aceh to Medan:
One man from Pidie, who returned to Aceh from Malaysia in August, told Human Rights Watch:
The economic situation under martial law has worsened dramatically. In October, Governor Abdullah Puteh noted, “The unemployment and poverty rates caused by the conflict in Aceh are alarming.” Puteh cited recent data showing that 40 percent of the population are living under the poverty line.99 The war has caused the economy to falter, but extensive controls on movement, extortion, and the well-founded fear of violence while traveling to buy or sell goods has greatly exacerbated the problem.
Many Acehnese complained that fear of violence or constraints on mobility had seriously affected their ability to make a living. Nearly all rural residents interviewed noted that inhabitants of their villages were prevented from going to their garden plots (kebun), which are often in the hills above the village. One man told Human Rights Watch, “There are posts in the village, and we're not allowed to go into the hills, to our kebun. If we do we’ll be seen as GAM and they will shoot us.”100
Since GAM forces are primarily in the mountainous areas, anyone apprehended heading there is viewed as either GAM, or as a supporter bringing rice or other supplies to the armed separatists. An eighteen-year-old who arrived on September 11 from Aceh Besar told Human Rights Watch:
These are not idle threats. A twenty-six-year-old from South Aceh reported:
One thirty-year-old who arrived from Central Aceh soon after martial law began said:
Another driver from Bireun echoed the danger of traveling by road:
A twenty-year-old fisherman from North Aceh who arrived two weeks ago explained:
One man who owned a rice milling business reported:
Historically, the TNI has used tactics such as “the fence of legs” in East Timor to put civilians between soldiers and guerillas, both as human shields and to use civilians to flush out resistance fighters.108 There have been several recent media reports of the use of civilians in military operations in Aceh.109 One man told Human Rights Watch of villagers being taken to the mountains to search for GAM, but it is unclear how often this tactic is being used under martial law.
In interviews with Human Rights Watch, the most widely reported instance of civilian participation in defense is unarmed compulsory night guard duty, or jaga malam, a strategy from the DOM period revived soon after martial law began. According to a government statement on progress under martial law:
Another statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserts:
However, testimony collected in Malaysia indicates that security forces employ the threat and use of violence to force male residents in villages to take turns guarding the village. One twenty-two-year-old man from Pidie who arrived in Malaysia on October 14 described when soldiers instituted night guard duty in his village:
One woman from Peureulak, in East Aceh, left the province in mid-October. She told Human Rights Watch:
Compulsory night guard duty is an additional aspect of an increasingly untenable life for men in Aceh, exposing them to risks of retaliation by both sides. While jaga malam may not put civilians at the same level of risk as direct involvement in military operations or being forced to join militias, it puts civilians squarely between GAM and the TNI. And, as one thirty-year-old who arrived from Central Aceh soon after martial law began, said:
Two Acehnese interviewed by Human Rights Watch also complained about forced labor, such as constructing the new village-level posts.115
Since the start of martial law, tens of thousands of civilians have been forced by fighting or ordered by the Indonesian government or security forces to leave their homes and villages. For example, in early July about 10,000 people in North Aceh reportedly fled their homes as the Indonesian Air Force bombed rebel positions in mountainous Pantai Pisang in Nisam subdistrict. Residents reported being ordered by the military to relocate to two camps in the neighboring Dewantara and Muara Batu subdistricts.116
Mass relocation or displacement of civilians solely to deny a willing social base to the opposing force is prohibited by international humanitarian law. Parties to a conflict must not order the displacement of people unless there are genuine concerns for the security of the civilians involved, or there are imperative military reasons for such action.117 Should such displacements be carried out, all possible measures should be taken to ensure that the sites to which they are relocated offer satisfactory conditions of shelter, hygiene, health, safety and nutrition.118
Many displaced are able to return to their homes after a comparatively short period, so the figures fluctuate from week to week. Official estimates fell from over twenty-thousand displaced persons in eleven districts in August to just under ten thousand persons in six districts by mid-November. More than 100,000 people have been displaced at some point since the start of martial law.119
One twenty-two-year-old man who arrived from Pidie described how some in his village fled the TNI, while others were rounded up and transported away:
A woman from North Aceh described looting that took place while residents were displaced:
In late July General Endriartono Sutarto, the army chief of staff, admitted that the army forcibly displaced civilians and apologized for the looting:
As outlined in “Aceh Under Martial Law: Unnecessary and Dangerous Restrictions on International Humanitarian Access,” there continue to be concerns about lack of access to food, health care, and education for displaced persons in Aceh.123 Fighting between the Indonesian military and GAM, as well as restrictions on movement, has disrupted the lives and livelihoods of civilians by cutting food supplies, water, electricity, communications, schooling, and healthcare to thousands. The overall picture from the scant information available is that the population of Aceh faces a shortage of basic supplies and services. Conditions are likely to be worse for those who have been forced to flee their homes. Preliminary information indicates that the fighting has forced thousands of civilians out of their homes. The Jesuit Refugee Service and Indonesian media sources have already highlighted reports of poor water and sanitation facilities, malnutrition, and skin complaints amongst this population.124 The refusal by Indonesia to allow access to international humanitarian agencies and NGOs makes a complete assessment impossible.125
42 Indonesia became a party to the Geneva Conventions in 1958. Also applicable is the Second Additional Protocol of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions (Protocol II). Although Indonesia is not a party to Protocol II, many if not all of its provisions reflect customary international law.
43 While Indonesia is not a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other important human rights treaties, the fundamental rights found within are recognized as part of customary international law.
44 Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
45 An extra-judicial execution (or summary execution) is an unlawful and deliberate killing of a person by state forces. The killing of combatants engaged in armed combat are considered lawful killings under international humanitarian law.
46 GAM combatants generally wear uniforms, though members will wear civilian clothes while in civilian areas. The dress of a person is by no means dispositive as to their membership; however interviewees could often state confidently that a neighbor or acquaintance was not a GAM member.
47 This is consistent with the findings of an Australian journalist who visited five villages in which there had been shootings the first week of martial law, before media restrictions tightened: “Interrogation, followed by beatings then summary execution, is the pattern emerging in Indonesia's military offensive against the rebels of Aceh.” Matthew Moore, “In Aceh, death has a pattern,” The Age (Australia), May 25, 2003.
48 Protocol II, art. 13, specifically prohibits “[a]cts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population.” See Human Rights Watch, “Indonesia: The War in Aceh,” A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 13, No. 4 (c), August 2001.
49 Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
50 Human Rights Watch interview with forty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 23, 2003.
51 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-five-year-old man, [name withheld] October 26, 2003, Malaysia.
52 Human Rights Watch interview with man in his twenties [name withheld], Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
53 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
54 Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-five-year-old [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
55 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-year-old man [name withheld] Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
56 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-year-old man [name withheld] Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
57 Human Rights Watch interview with forty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
58 Although there is a wide variety of security forces and insignias present in Aceh, three red stripes most likely indicates private first class.
59 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 27, 2003.
60 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-five-year-old man [name withheld] October 28, 2003, Malaysia.
61 Human Rights Watch interview with an eighteen-year-old man, [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
62 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-five-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
63 Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-eight-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
64 A “disappearance” occurs when the authorities detain a person secretly and incommunicado and deny that the person is in their custody; persons so detained are frequently tortured, ill-treated or killed. While a non-state actor cannot technically commit a “disappearance” as it is defined under international law, GAM has a history of carrying out kidnapping, both for ransom and for political reasons, and summary killings.
65 Kontras Aceh, “Briefing paper on Aceh: Aceh province, uncovered dirty war,” September 2003.
66 Human Rights Watch interview with sixty-five-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, November 5, 2003.
67 One red stripe most likely corresponds to the rank of an army private. Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
68 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
69 Tiarma Siboro, “Aceh Court to Try 7 soldiers,” The Jakarta Post, June 3, 2003.
70 Lely Djuhari, “Commander in Aceh denies torture claims,” Associated Press, November 22, 2003.
71 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-six-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
72 Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Malaysia, November 5, 2003.
73 Media accounts have detailed similar incidents in which a large group or men is questioned and beaten and one or two men are singled out and shot. See Richard C. Paddock, “Indonesia's Separatist War Claims the Young,” Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2003.
74 Human Rights Watch interview with forty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
75 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-two-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
76 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-eight-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
77 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-three-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
78 Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-two-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 24, 2003. Members of the Siliwangi Battalion were charged and acquitted in a military court for beatings in Dewantara, North Aceh on August 30.
79 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-three-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
80 TNI Information Center, “1.338 Anggota Pemberontak GAM Ditahan,” December 4, 2003; “140 Napi GAM akan Dipindah ke Jawa” Serambi, December 4, 2003. “PDMD Tentukan Amnesti Anggota GAM,” Sinar Harapan, November 13, 2003; “'GAM still strong',” Laksamana.net, November 9, 2003.
81 An arrest or detention is arbitrary when carried out by state authorities without a proper, well-founded legal basis for doing so.
82 “Commander in Aceh denies torture claims,” Associated Press, November 22, 2003. Kontras, “5 Bulan Darurat Militer; Berhasil Ciptakan Ketergantungan Sipil pada Militer,” Press Release, October 20, 2003; Kontras Aceh, “Briefing paper on Aceh: Aceh province, uncovered dirty war,” September 2003.
83 “Suspected Indonesian rebels tell of jailhouse terror,” Associated Press, December 7, 2003.
84 Human Rights Watch interview with eighteen-year-old-man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
85 Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-year-old woman [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
86 Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-seven-year old man [name withheld], Malaysia, November 5, 2003.
87 Nur Raihan, “KTP Sementara Aceh Berlaku 1 Juli,” detikcom, May 29, 2003.
88 While this was intended to reinforce allegiance to the Indonesian state, the symbol may become more deeply associated with oppressive conditions, as occurred in East Timor in 1999.
89 Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, “New ID requirements add more misery for Acehnese,” The Jakarta Post,July 28, 2003.
90 Department Of Foreign Affairs, “Briefing Paper On Current Development In The Province Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) Period: 19 May – 10 August 2003.” By December 4, the army announced that 95 percent of those eligible had the new ID cards. TNI Information Center, “1.338 Anggota Pemberontak GAM Ditahan,” December 4, 2003.
91 Human Rights Watch interview with man in his twenties [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
92 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-five-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
93 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-five-year-old woman [name withheld], Malaysia, November 6, 2003.
94 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
95 Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, “Komnas HAM to probe Aceh violations,” The Jakarta Post, June 3, 2003.
96 Human Rights Watch interview with forty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
97 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-two-year-old Acehnese man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
98 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-five-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
99 “Alarming Poverty & Unemployment in Aceh,” Laksamana, October 29, 2003. http://www.laksamana.net/vnews.cfm?ncat=35&news_id=6246 (accessed December 4, 2003).
100 Human Rights Watch interview with a twenty-two-year- old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
101 Human Rights Watch interview with an eighteen-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 28, 2003.
102 Human Rights Watch interview with a twenty-six-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
103 Human Rights Watch interview, thirty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
104 Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Malaysia, October 25, 2003. Although groups linked to the military have been around at least since 1990, reports of militia activity in several districts, especially those with Javanese migrants to recruit, have increased in recent years.
105 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 31, 2003.
106 Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Malaysia, November 5, 2003.
107 Fabiola Desy Unidjaja and Tiarma Siboro, “President endorses civilian ‘guards’,” The Jakarta Post, July 2, 2003.
108 In 1981, the Indonesian military conducted an operation they called the “fence of legs” campaign in East Timor. In an attempt to smoke resistance fighters out of hiding, the military forced civilians to walk in lines from the perimeter of the half-island, heading towards the center. The military followed behind, using them as human shields against the resistance fighters.
109 For example, around 1,000 villagers from Leupung subdistrict in Aceh Besar were reportedly engaged in a hunt for GAM rebels in the nearby forest. The Aceh Besar district military commander claimed that the military was only providing backup to an initiative of the villagers themselves. Nani Farida, “Civilians involved directly in hunt for GAM rebels,” The Jakarta Post, Sept. 17, 2003.
110 “Government Evaluation on Special Operation in Aceh,” Indonesian Government Statement, www.Polkam.go.id, August 15, 2003.
111 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, “Briefing Paper on Current Development in the Province Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), Period: 19 May – 10 August 2003.”
112 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-two-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
113 Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-year-old woman [name withheld], Malaysia, October 24, 2003.
114 Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
115 One of two people to describe the mandatory work explained: “At night we jaga malam, in the morning we have to do gotong royong [cooperative effort], building new posts and camps. Or we're ordered to bring palm tree trunks up a hill. Sometimes when they leave, we have to take down the post, then they move back and we have to build it again. In my village they just took over an empty house, but we had to go build posts in the other villages. We have to do this maybe two days out of every week.” Human Rights Watch interview with thirty-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
116 A'an Suryana, “Acehnese flee air strike,” The Jakarta Post, July 1, 2003. Non-Acehnese have also been intimidated into leaving Aceh in the past, most likely by GAM. By 2001 there were nearly 50,000 Javanese in North Sumatra who had been displaced from Aceh. It is possible that similar behavior is taking place under martial law but lack of access makes this difficult to determine. See Human Rights Watch, “The War in Aceh” A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 13, No. 4 (c), August 2001; Human Rights Watch, “Indonesia: Civilians Targeted in Aceh,” A Human Rights Watch Press Backgrounder, May 2000; Report of the Representative of the Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, E/CN.4/2002/95/Add.2, February 15, 2002.
117 Geneva Conventions, Protocol II, art. 17, which is considered reflective of customary international law, provides that the "displacement of the civilian population shall not be ordered for reasons related to the conflict unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand."
118 The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (the Guiding Principles), adopted in September 1998 by the U.N. General Assembly, reflect international humanitarian law as well as human rights law, and provide a consolidated set of international standards governing the treatment of the internally displaced. Although not a binding instrument, the Guiding Principles are based on international laws that do bind states as well as some insurgent groups, and they have acquired authority and standing in the international community.
119 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, “Briefing Paper on Current Development in the Province Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), Period: 19 May – 10 August 2003”; UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “OCHA Consolidated Situation Report No. 154,” November 14, 2003; Jesuit Refugee Service, “JRS Dispatches No. 142,” November 17, 2003.
120 Human Rights Watch interview with twenty-two-year-old man [name withheld], Malaysia, October 29, 2003.
121 Human Rights Watch interview [name withheld], Malaysia, October 26, 2003.
122 A court-martial began on July 22 for two soldiers charged with stealing cash and jewelry from the home of a suspected separatist rebel in North Aceh. Human Rights Watch is not aware of the outcome. Tiarma Siboro, “TNI chief offers apology to Acehnese people,” The Jakarta Post, July 26, 2003.
123 Human Rights Watch, “Aceh Under Martial Law: Unnecessary and Dangerous Restrictions on International Humanitarian Access,” A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper, September 2003.
124 Jesuit Refugee Service, “JRS Dispatches No. 137,” August 1, 2003.
125 As of October 2003, the Indonesian government reported forty-seven health-related deaths in the camps. However, this information is impossible to verify or interpret without knowing more about prevailing mortality rates in the total population, available health facilities, and other basic information. Satkorlak NAD, “IDPs Dead in Aceh,” (processed and checked by International Organization of Migration Banda Aceh), October 5, 2003.