Human Rights Abuses in Aceh
Asia Watch: December 27, 1990
Since mid-1989, the special region of Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra has been the site of massive human rights violations. The abuses have been sparked by actions of an armed opposition group, the
Acheh/Sumatra National Liberation Front, more commonly known as Aceh Merdeka or the Free Aceh Movement, and a heavy-handed response from the Indonesian military. (The liberation movement uses the spelling
"Acheh" or "Atjeh"; the official Indonesian spelling is "Aceh.") The regional military commander, Major General H.R.
Pramono, boasted in July 1990 that the movement would be crushed by December. As of late November 1990, however, it was very much alive, and abuses were continuing.
The combined death toll on both sides is estimated to be as high as 1,000 with perhaps more killed by summary execution than by actual armed clashes; both sides have been responsible for atrocities. (The figure of 1,000 comes from an army doctor quoted in a November 25, 1990 Reuters report.) Mass arrests of those suspected of supporting the movement have led almost invariably to torture and frequently to the disappearance of those detained. The regional military commander says informing families of arrests is "impractical." Although bodies with gunshot or stab wounds continue to be found by roads, along rivers or in plantations in Aceh, no official inquests or investigations are conducted, and the military often refuses to allow the bodies to be buried in accordance with Islamic practices. There appear to be no procedures in place for conducting objective autopsies. International human rights organizations are not allowed officially to conduct
fact-finding missions in Indonesia, let alone in Aceh, and humanitarian organizations cannot provide services in the area. Information is tightly controlled by the government. Military statements are the major source of articles in Indonesian newspapers, and the military presence in Aceh has engendered a climate of fear that makes families of victims afraid, with good reason, to talk.
The Indonesian government attributes the outbreak of violence in Aceh, a region of over three million people, to a government effort to eradicate marijuana (ganja), and the alleged disgruntlement of the ganja "mafia" over their loss of income. The Indonesian army implies
that Aceh Merdeka and the ganja syndicate are one and the same, and that therefore Aceh Merdeka is a criminal and not a political organization. Since early 1990, the government has used the acronym
GPK, short for gerombolan pengacau keamanan or "public security disturbers" to refer to the perpetrators of any act of violence in the region. For its part, the Aceh Merdeka leadership denies any involvement in marijuana cultivation, saying the movement relies on taxes and contributions from outside. (Editor, April 15, 1989 in Indonesia News Service, No.272. December 3, 1990). It remains unclear how the political movement and the drug trade are related.
Some individual Aceh Merdeka members may be involved in the cultivation and sale of marijuana. In 1988, a man named Muchtar bin
Gadong, reported by the Indonesian press to have been a subdistrict - level "commander" of the movement, was arrested in Pidie and led the military to several hectares of marijuana fields and a ton of the dried crop in Pucok Alue
Pinang, Pidie. He reportedly "confessed" that Aceh Merdeka was financed by the marijuana trade, but confessions in such cases are often coerced. He was convicted of subversion and is currently serving his sentence in Sigli Prison,
Pidie. (Editor, October 1, 1988 in Indonesia News Service, No. 148, November 3, 1988. The quotation marks are Asia Watch's; See also Editor, April 15, 1989)
A military operation, Operation Nila I, mounted in early 1989 appeared to be aimed at eradicating both marijuana and Aceh
Merdeka. In June 1989, a subdistrict military officer named Corporal Mohamad Gade was shot dead together with his commanding officer in
Tiro, Pidie. According to the Indonesian magazine Editor (June 3, 1990), Gade had been assigned to track down suspected Aceh Merdeka supporters and was known as "the hunter." In April, he had killed an Aceh Merdeka "commander" named Zainuddin Faqih (also seen as
Pakeh) at his home in Tiro. The military attributed his death, however, to ganja planters, vengeful because their fields were being destroyed.
By mid-1990, the military was still explaining the continuing violence as wholly criminal, despite increasing evidence of political motivation, such as attempts at flag-raising and distribution of anonymous flyers. For the military, however, the "brains" behind the violence was a former soldier from North Sumatra named Surya
Darma, also known as Robert. Portrayed by the army as a dissolute character with a penchant for alcohol and cockfighting, Robert enlisted in the army in 1982 and had been assigned to Infantry Battalion 111 in
Lhokseumawe, North Aceh, only to be discharged four years later because
of ongoing disciplinary problems. Since then, Robert had attracted around him a group of about 120 people, according to the army, most of them deserters from the army and police who provided weapons for the group and formed part of the ganja syndicate. Acehnese interviewed by Asia Watch in November were divided as to whether "Robert" was a fiction of the security forces, a "new cadre" of Aceh
Merdeka, or a disreputable element planted by military intelligence to discredit the genuine movement, but at least one source reported that Robert in fact had been present at a meeting at a religious school in
Peureulak, East Aceh, in September 1990 and narrowly escaped arrest. (Several sources sympathetic to Acehnese independence expressed concern about some of the actions attributed to Aceh Merdeka and suggested that the Indonesian government had established a "false" Aceh Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur which was diluting the movement's aims and employing criminal elements. It should be noted, however, that Aceh Merdeka never had the reputation of being highly disciplined or well-behaved).
Neither resentment over a drug eradication program nor the skills of a single underworld figure are satisfactory explanations for the re-emergence of an insurgency last treated as a serious security threat in the late 1970's. It may well be that there are two dynamics operating, and that the political movement has fed off abuses committed in the course of the drug eradication efforts. Other explanations have been put forward, such as the growing social dislocations resulting from the development of huge industries, such as the PT Arun natural gas plant and two giant fertilizer plants in North Aceh and the pulp
and paper plant, PT Kertas Kraft Aceh, in Central Aceh. There are conspiracy theories which look for answers in domestic political maneuvering before the 1992 elections. None of these theories is wholly implausible, but none is adequate, either. In the end, the cause of increased activity of Aceh Merdeka may be less important than the Acehnese nationalism it has aroused, even among those who question its methods.
A Note on Aceh Merdeka
In late October 1976, a man calling himself a seventh-generation Acehnese nationalist, Hasan di
Tiro, who had been living in exile in the United States for 25 years, secretly returned to Aceh. On December 4, 1976, he issued a
"redeclaration of independence." At the same time, he announced the establishment of the
Acheh/Sumatra National Liberation Front, aimed at securing the removal of "Javanese" domination of Aceh and the establishment of an independent Islamic state.
(Hasan Di Tiro left Aceh in March 1979 and took up residence in Sweden).
The Front was heir to a long tradition of rebellion in Aceh. It was Aceh which engaged the Dutch colonial army in the longest, costliest and bloodiest war in the history of the Netherlands East Indies, a war which started in 1873 and lasted thirty years. When Indonesia declared independence in 1945, Acehnese religious leaders revolted against the indigenous aristocracy through whom the Dutch had ruled Aceh after the war, killing hundreds in what became a small civil war. In 1953, an Islamic scholar named Daud Beureueh became the leader
of a separatist rebellion called Darul Islam, triggered by efforts of the central government in Jakarta to merge Aceh into a larger province. The revolt ended peacefully in 1959, with Aceh recognized as a "special region" rather than a province. Violence broke out again in Aceh following the attempted coup in 1965, which the Suharto government has blamed on the Indonesian Communist Party, when the ferocity of the slaughter of suspected Communists may have been paralleled only in East Java and Bali.
Hasan Di Tiro's declaration in 1976 coincided with preparations for the 1977 general elections in which tensions between Muslim activists and the military were particularly high. The following year, an outburst of political activism throughout Java and Sumatra in which students took the lead affected Aceh as well. The result of all of the above was the arrest of hundreds of people in Aceh and the neighboring province of North Sumatra in 1977-79, a small fraction of whom were Aceh Merdeka supporters. ( Note : Prior to the 1977 campaign, the late Lt. Gen. Ali Murtopo who was then the deputy head of the Indonesian
intelligence organization, BAKIN, brought together former leaders of Darul Islam, a West Java-based Muslim rebellion which had been crushed by the army in 1962. Murtopo encouraged the Darul Islam leaders to re-activate the movement. He apparently told them their activities in support of an Islamic state were needed to stop the spread of Communism after the fall of Vietnam, but his real reason, it is now believed, was to discredit the Muslim parties before the election by associating them with extremism. Close to 1,000 people suspected of having attended meetings with former Darul Islam members were arrested between 1977-79 and accused of being members of a non-existent organization called Komando Jihad or the Holy War Command. Since Aceh had its own Darul Islam movement, some of the arrests there
in the late 1970's were also by-products of Murtopo's electoral machinations).
In the intervening decade, Aceh Merdeka received little attention. It was not until 1989 that incidents began to occur with a frequency and geographic spread that suggested a more coordinated movement. As of December 1990, however, the
Acheh/Sumatra National Liberation Front seemed neither well- equipped nor well-organized and controlled no
territory, although Hasan di Tiro's home subdistrict of Tiro in the district of Pidie remains an Aceh Merdeka stronghold. Aceh Merdeka has no known social programs. In at least three districts, East Aceh, Pidie and North Aceh, it appears to have the rudiments of a command structure and a pool of young men on whom it can rely for hit- and-run attacks and ambushes of military patrols; it also relies heavily on Malaysia as a place of sanctuary. Although the movement's "government-in-exile" continues to be led by Hasan di Tiro from Sweden, its operational leadership, to the extent that there is one, appears to be in Kuala Lumpur. There are persistent reports of Libyan assistance to the movement and for a brief period in the 1980s, Di Tiro was reported to be living in Tripoli. While some Acehnese have reportedly been sent to Libya for training, there is little evidence to suggest that Aceh Merdeka is receiving outside arms supplies. (While both sides use M-16s as their weapon of choice, some sources said that people shot by Aceh Merdeka people usually had far more severe injuries and suggested that the ammunition used was different. Aceh Merdeka appears to acquire its arms primarily from attacks on soldiers and police).
For all its organizational weaknesses, Aceh Merdeka has apparently succeeded in tapping deeply felt resentment against the Indonesian government, a feeling exacerbated by the perceived economic exploitation of the area by Western or Jakarta-based interests. If military abuses continue unabated, that resentment will only increase.
This report is based on a wide range of sources, including interviews conducted in Aceh, press articles and materials compiled by Aceh Merdeka supporters. A word should be said about the latter. In November, the "Information Department" of
Liberation Front issued a document entitled A Black Paper Documenting Javanese/Indonesian Crime of Genocide Against the People of
Acheh/ Sumatra 1990. Asia Watch has examined the document, a collection of letters sent from Aceh, with care. In many cases, the incidents
described tally with those reported from a military perspective in the press. (Note: For example, a military press release reported that a
"GPK" leader named Yusuf AB was shot and killed on July 1 while resisting arrest; the Black Paper reports the martyrdom of Teungku
(appellation for a religious leader) M. Yusuf AB, Governor of Pase Province of the Islamic State of Acheh Sumatra, on the same day. The Indonesian press reported that a teacher named Ali Gayo had been found shot to death; the Black Paper contains a letter claiming Ali Gayo was an informer whose information led to the writer's arrest and notes that he has since been killed). When information from the Black Paper can be cross-checked against other sources, Asia Watch has used it.
Killings and Disappearances
Both sides have been responsible for summary executions, but there is a vast difference in scale. Aceh Merdeka supporters have ambushed and killed military and police as well as suspected civilian informers or employees of local companies, and they have often been brutal. One corpse of a suspected informer was found on April 29, 1990 in
Bayu, North Aceh with its eyes gouged out. The Indonesian military, for its part, appears to have systematically killed at least dozens and perhaps hundreds of suspected Aceh Merdeka supporters in revenge, as a deterrent to others, and as a means of disposing of prisoners. One soldier interviewed by Reuters acknowledged that suspected Aceh Merdeka partisans were being killed as psychological warfare. "Okay, that does happen," the soldier said. "But they use terrorist strategies, so we are forced to use anti-terrorist strategies." (Reuter, November 23, 1990).
General Pramono went further in an interview he gave to the Indonesian newsweekly TEMPO. "I've told the people, the important thing is if you see a
GPK, kill him. There's no need for investigating. Don't wait till the people get hurt. They're forced to do this and that and if they don't want to, they're shot or get their throats slit. So I've ordered the people to carry sharp weapons. It can be a knife, anything they want, just so that if they see a
GPK, they kill him." (Tempo, November 17, 1990, p.34). Such statements are hardly in
accordance with a country that for years has been trying, unsuccessfully, to project an image of itself as one which abides by the rule of law.
Some of the army killings have been well documented; all of the following cases need further investigation so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.
In one case, a man named Sulaiman Ampo Ali, 37, from Matang Reubek, North Aceh, was walking home on August 2, 1990 and failed to stop when ordered to do so by a truckload of soldiers. He was shot in the leg, arrested and hauled into the truck. He was interrogated on the way to the Sampe
I-Niet river where he was shot, his body put into a sack and thrown in the river. It was found three days later by villagers. (There are several sources for this incident with slightly differing dates; one source gives it as July 27.)
Several sources reported the mass execution on September 12, 1990 of a truckload of male prisoners from a "red" camp (probably referring to one run by the Indonesian Special Forces or Kopassus who wear red berets) in
Rancong, Lhokseumawe, North Aceh. They were reportedly stripped, driven to Cot Panglima about 28 km along the Takengon road and executed. Among those reported killed were M. Isa Kasem of Panton
Labu; M. Umar of Panton Labu; Ishak of Punteut; Badai of Lapang; Rasjid of
Lapang; Sopian and Usof of Matang Sidjeuk; Muchtar and Sulaiman of Lapang; Rasjit of
Mancang, Lhoksukon; and Basri of Garot-Pidie. Again, there are differing details on the numbers of those killed, from 17 to
56. Asia Watch has not independently confirmed the executions, but given the severity of the allegation, a thorough investigation is clearly warranted. A second report notes that villagers found nine bodies near the same spot on the Takengon road on September 18.
Between September 12 and October 14, seven bodies were found in Kejuruan
Muda, East Aceh, all killed in the same manner with the back of the head bashed in. Ten corpses were reported found in the Sungai Tamiang in October in subdistrict
Bendahara, East Aceh, according to a TEMPO report. (Tempo, November 17, 1990).
In another case which may be related to the Aceh Merdeka movement, Jaenal Aman
Amirin, 35, was shot dead by three officers of the police station in Terangon, Southeast Aceh on May 10, 1990. In a complaint filed with the armed forces headquarters in Jakarta on May 14, the
victim's brother reported that there had been a knock at the door at 11:30pm on May 10. Three uniformed officers were at the door.
Jaenal, who was deaf, and his wife Tikah asked the officers in. Tikah went to get her uncle who lived nearby and when she was outside the house, she heard shots. The village head went to the house to see what had happened, and the three police asked him if someone with the initials BED lived there. It turned out that BED lived in a neighboring village and the police had killed Jaenal by mistake. There has been no news on whether the police involved have been prosecuted.
(Waspada, June 20, 1990 reported in Indonesia News Service No.259, August 29, 1990).
In Sungo Raja, Peureulak, East Aceh, Toke Thaleb, 40, and Toke Abdullah, 35, were reportedly shot and their bodies left by the side of the road on July 18. Other such killings are listed in the appended Chronology.
To Asia Watch's knowledge, there have been no investigations or inquests; in many cases, the bodies are not even returned to the families. Many of the corpses are buried without attempts at identification, and it is widely believed that the army is executing prisoners and deliberately dumping their bodies many kilometers from their home village.
"Disappearances", where a person is missing after having last been seen in military custody, have become commonplace. Some of those who "disappear" may still be alive in military custody, since as noted below, the Indonesian military routinely ignore their obligation to inform a suspect's family of his or her arrest. But the number of unidentified corpses found in Aceh suggest that many of those who have "disappeared" may in fact have been killed.
Abubakar Sungai Paoh is one "disappearance" case which needs investigation. On June 30 or July 1, 1990 in Alue
Pineung, Langsa soldiers from KODIM 0104 shot and killed two Aceh Merdeka supporters, Iskandar Ali and Azhar Sungai
Paoh, reportedly after they tried to\j\ shoot an officer. Abubakar was arrested after the incident and taken away by the soldiers; as of September, he had not been seen.
On August 11, 1990, a group of soldiers entered the village of Lueng Puet IV, East Aceh, to hunt for a man named Juneid Toke Daud from Lueng Sa I. He was reportedly captured at his fish pond, beaten, stripped and forced to march with the soldiers. As of September, he had not been seen since.
Teungku Yasin, 50, head of a local mosque in Peureulak, East Aceh, was arrested on September 21, 1990 on suspicion of helping Aceh
Merdeka. As of the end of September, his whereabouts were unknown. Arrests and Places of Detention
Over the last year, clear patterns of arrest have emerged, depending on why, how and by whom one is arrested. For all those arrested in connection with Aceh
Merdeka, arrest warrants are unheard of, torture is routine, there is no question of access by lawyers and
families are often not informed of their relatives' whereabouts. General Pramono said "informing families was impractical. 'This is a military operation.'" (Reuter, November 23, 1990).
The most common pattern of arrest involves the mass rounding up of villagers, after an ambush or killing by Aceh Merdeka in the area or during a military operation in an area considered "hot." In a typical incident, Aceh Merdeka supporters on April 21, 1990 seized a pistol from a policeman in the village of Ulee
Ateueng, Peureulak, East Aceh; the policeman was reportedly not injured. In retaliation, soldiers rounded up 31 village men, beat them with rifle butts in public and took them by truck to the nearby town of Bagok where all were made to stand in a fishpond until early the next morning. Five were then released; as of May 30, 1990 the other 26 remained in military detention in Kreung Tan, Peureulak (see attached Chronology for names).
Extensive military operations were carried out in Peureulak in June and July. On June 26, 32 men were rounded up outside a shop in the village of
Jingki, Rambong Payong, Peureulak, kicked, hit with rifle butts and otherwise abused. Four of the 32, Zakaria bin
Asjem, 25; Zulkifli; Raman Gampong Nisam, 40; and Isa bin Itam, 28, were arrested and taken to a military post on nearby Asamera Road. A similar incident took place on July 2, in Gampong Simpang
Peu, also in Rambong Payong, Peureulak where 18 men were taken from a group assembled by Indonesian troops and arrested (see attached Chronology for names.) Both series of arrests may have been in retaliation for an incident noted in a military press release of an Aceh Merdeka ambush of a logging truck in the same area owned by PT Nalang
Raya. The ambush took place on June 15.
People arrested in such circumstances are likely to be further interrogated and tortured in their first place of detention, and those suspected of being more directly involved transferred to the district military commands
(KODIMs) in Langsa, East Aceh
or Lhokseumawe (North Aceh).
Many people have been arrested not because they were suspected of committing any crime but because the Indonesian military saw them as potential sources of information. Such
people tend to be detained for months at a time before being released. They are moved back and forth between various military detention centers for interrogation, with many of the most important prisoners ending up in the detention center at the regional military headquarters, KODAM Bukit
Barisan, in Medan. The headquarters is known as "Gaperta" after the street on which it is located, and many accounts refer to people in
"Gaperta Prison." Transfer to Medan, which is several hundred kilometers away from Aceh, makes family visits in the rare cases that they are allowed, virtually impossible.
In one case, Yusuf Sulaiman, a student, 22, from Panton Labu, North Aceh was arrested in August 1989 by five soldiers, four of them in civilian clothes, and taken to the KODIM in
Lhokseumawe for interrogation. He had apparently become a committed supporter of the movement while in Malaysia, and his activities in Malaysia formed one line of questioning. He said the only information he had about Aceh Merdeka was that one of its leaders was Sanusi
Junid, a response not guaranteed to please his military interrogators. (Sanusi bin
Junid, an Acehnese married to the granddaughter of Daud Beureueh, the man who led the Darul Islam rebellion in the 1950's, is the Malaysian Minister of Agriculture. He is believed by many to be working with the Indonesian government to create divisions in Aceh
Merdeka). He was tortured repeatedly, including with electric shocks on his genitals. After a month and a half at the
KODIM, he was transferred to Gaperta together with five other suspected Aceh Merdeka supporters. He was finally released on April 25, 1990 and has returned to Malaysia.
Women are frequently arrested and beaten in order to get them to reveal the whereabouts of their husbands. On February 2, 1990, a man named Din
Lahar, whom Aceh Merdeka suspected of informing on them to the district military command in
Sigli, Pidie was killed in the Tiro subdistrict. Shortly thereafter, soldiers arrested the wives of the men they suspected of killing Din. The women, four of whom have been identified by name, were taken by truck to the subdistrict military command in Lammuelo
(Lamlo) where they were interrogated, and reportedly beaten with rifle butts, kicked and sexually harassed. They appear to have been held overnight and released.
A third category of prisoners includes those who have a record of previous arrests in connection with Acehnese nationalist activities. It is a practice more associated with Irian Jaya and East Timor that whenever an act of political violence occurs, all those previously arrested for involvement with a political movement immediately become suspect. In Aceh, military intelligence personnel appear to be systematically following up on those arrested in the late 1970's for involvement in Aceh Merdeka and re-arresting some of those concerned. Arrests in such cases are frequently made by
BAKORSTANASDA, the internal security arm of the military.
Nurdin Abdurrachman, 39, is one such person. A lecturer at the Language Institute
(Lembaga Bahasa) at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh and originally from
Jeumpa, North Aceh, he was taken from his home by armed men on the night of October 15, 1990; as of late November, his family had not been told where he is being held, although they were asked to send him clothes. Nurdin had been detained for two years in the late 1970s as an Aceh Merdeka supporter, reportedly after turning himself in, and had been tortured then. His elder brother is also reported to have been arrested.
Hazbi, 42, is another Syiah Kuala University lecturer who teaches in the economics faculty. A native of
Mutiara, Pidie, he was arrested in September. He had been detained once before in 1978. At that time, his elder brother was a "cabinet minister" in Hasan di Tiro's "government"; his father was also suspected of involvement and detained in the late 1970's.
They are only two of a number of lecturers at Syiah Kuala and the neighboring State Islamic Institute
(IAIN) reported arrested. Two lecturers, one in the Education Faculty, one in the Agriculture Faculty of Syiah Kuala were arrested briefly and released; one had been visited by a former classmate known to have Aceh Merdeka connections; another reportedly had relatives in the movement but was not personally involved. In addition to the links to 1977-78, the lecturers may have been under surveillance because the military is convinced that intellectuals are involved in the movement. The regional military commander, General
Pramono, noted in an interview in November that a flyer had been sent to journalists by the
"GPK" explaining the aims of the movement. "If there aren't intellectuals, there's no way
they'd have the capacity to produce such a flyer," he said. (Tempo, November 17, 1990).
Even people associated with the Darul Islam movement of the 1950's have been arrested. Teungku Ali
Piyeung, a well-known religious scholar and businessman now in his 80's who was active in the Darul Islam movement was arrested in September. He is originally from
Montasiek, Aceh Besar. Two weeks after his arrest, one of his followers, whose name was given to Asia Watch, went to visit him in prison. Just because of the visit, the follower himself was detained for one day, and as of November, was still being required to report regularly to the army. In a similar case, Hop. Jali
(Jalil), from Leupung, Aceh Besar, a
businessman and former CPM (Military Police Corps), who had been active both in Darul Islam and in Aceh Merdeka in the 1970's, was reportedly arrested in August-September. He is in his seventies.
No effort appears to be made to look for evidence before making arrests. One man appears to have been arrested and detained for seven months simply because his car was the same make and color as that used in the ambush of a military patrol in which two soldiers were killed. Toke Cut, 63, a businessman and contractor in Lhokseumawe was reportedly riding in a blue Toyota Kijang on September 9 when he was arrested in Kreung
Geukeh, North Aceh. The ambush had taken place shortly before. He was taken to the district military command in Lhokseumawe and then transferred to the Gaperta prison in Medan where he was held in a cell with five others. He was released on April 25, 1990.
At least one case has been reported of a young man having been arrested for laughing at soldiers.
In addition to the detention centers at the various military district and subdistrict commands, there are also reported to be several military camps where prisoners can be held. One is the "red" camp in Kreung
Geukueh, Rancong, North Aceh, from which the 50 men were reportedly executed; one is Bukit Sintang Camp near a shop called Seismic Store in
Lhoksukon, North Aceh; one is a police station at Alue Buket, near the senior high school
(SMA) in Lhoksukon, North Aceh. There was even one report from Peureulak, East Aceh, that so many people had been arrested in July that the local office of the Ministry of Public Works was being used to house detainees.
People arrested in connection with Aceh Merdeka can also be released for a variety of reasons. A few mass releases have taken place, most notably when 140 people were released in Lhokseumawe in a special ceremony at the district parliament building; after spending three months in detention, it was decided that they had only insignificant roles in the
"GPK", meaning they should probably never have been arrested in the first place. There have been numerous instances of people paying their way out of prison. And in several cases, men have been released to act as guides. In one such case, a man named Zakaria
Tjureh, 27, was arrested on November 20, 1989 in a raid by soldiers on an auto repair workshop in Matang Geulumpung
Dua, North Aceh. Zakaria was shot near the ear when he reportedly tried to escape. He was beaten, taken to the KODIM in Lhokseumawe and eventually transferred to Gaperta in
Medan. He was released in April 1990 and is reportedly being used as a guide to patrol bus terminals in Medan and
The government announced in November that trials of "GPK" members would begin in January in Banda Aceh, Lhokseumawe and Medan district courts. One of the first of some 40 expected to be tried is reportedly Abdurrachman Toyo, currently detained in
Gaperta, Medan, accused of taking part in an ambush on a military patrol in Kreung Geukueh in which two soldiers were killed. Only after the prisoner dossiers are formally turned over to the district courts will any of these prisoners, many of whom have been in detention for more than a year, be able to see a lawyer.
Severe beatings, often with rifle butts, during arrest and various forms of torture during interrogation in military custody are routine. Crude forms of electric shock using a single live wire attached to a hand-cranked generator or inserted into an electrical outlet appear to be commonplace in
KODIMs. Yusuf Sulaiman, the student mentioned above, received electric shocks on his genitals and had a wire inserted into his penis. In a signed statement, he said that while he was in prison in
Lhokseumawe, there were two boys, Ibnu Hadjar, aged 12 and Ibnu Sjakbi, aged 14, who had set fire to a subdistrict military command in
Bayu, North Aceh who had been subjected to severe beatings with a sandalwood stick, causing them to roll about the floor. They are apparently likely to be charged with arson.
There are numerous reports of sexual abuse of women, but they are difficult to substantiate. A man who had been detained in the Lhokseumawe KODIM in late 1989 told an Asia Watch source that the wife of a village head who was known for her care of wounded Aceh Merdeka members was tortured in his presence by having a stick inserted into her vagina.
Another form of torture reported from Aceh and standard throughout Indonesia is the placing of a chair or table over the suspect's foot which the interrogator then sits on.
Other Counterinsurgency Measures
In addition to the killings, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and torture taking place in Aceh, the military is using other methods to intimidate the populace. One particularly
disturbing development is the creation of "voluntary" civil patrols which are encouraged to arrest people they suspect of affiliation to Aceh
In North Aceh, a group called "Defend the State" (Bela Negara) was formed by the security forces, composed of youths recruited from villages and given military training, instruction in the state ideology,
Pancasila, but no firearms. The reason for doing so was not that the military feared the recruits would not use the weapons properly but that it feared the
"GPK" would steal them. As of November 1990, Bela Negara had 200 registered members. (Tempo, November 17, 1990 p.28). An Aceh Merdeka source said that young men were being forced to join "voluntary armed forces" in North Aceh with 10 men from each village, and that anyone who refused to join was severely punished.
In East Aceh, the equivalent is "People's Militia" or Lasykar Rakyat with about 1,500 members in 120 villages who go on nightly patrols in groups of 40 with sharpened bamboo spears, knives and other weapons. Taking part in the patrols appears to be obligatory in some areas. In one incident in September, militia members learned that there was an Aceh Merdeka hideout in Seunebok
Kolam, about 15 km from Idi. Militia members led troops
from the regular military there. When they were close enough to see that the partisans were armed, the troops went on ahead. Seven meters from the hideout, the Aceh Merdeka people opened fire which the troops returned, killing two partisans. The other eight were able to escape. On October 17, militia members arrested four people in Idicut and turned them over to the military. By mid-November, the total number of arrests attributed to the militia was about 80.
There is also a civil patrol in Pidie, based in Sigli and run by a man named Teuku
In addition to the patrols, villagers in affected areas are forced to participate in mass demonstrations of loyalty to the Indonesian government, some of which resemble the staged "mass surrenders" of the New People's Army in the Philippines. Newspapers announced that on August 18, 1990, 346 residents of Tanjung
Beridi, Peusangan, returned to the fold of the government and announced their loyalty to the New Order government and
Pancasila. On August 5, some 655 men from 33 villages in Seuneudon and Ulee
Ruebek, all suspected of being Aceh Merdeka supporters, were brought by truck and jeep to the Rawasakti sports stadium in
Lhokseumawe, a distance of some 60 km. There the KODIM commander administered an oath of loyalty to them as local government officials looked on. They also declared that they would not support any activities that were in violation of national objectives. An official of the North Sumatra provincial parliament told reporters from the Atjeh Post that none of the men had been forced to come and that they had voluntarily sought the protection of the government.
Information on the situation in Aceh is strictly monitored by the military. The content of newspapers is controlled. Photocopying has become a risky undertaking. In July, two youths were reportedly arrested at a photocopying stall on Jalan Diponegoro in the city of Banda Aceh after the shopkeeper saw the contents of the flyer and called the police. Mail to and from Aceh is reportedly censored.
Shortly after the current regional commander, General Pramono, was appointed, he reportedly called in journalists based in Aceh and told them that their reporting was not to suggest any political motivation to the violence since it could hurt foreign investment. All newspapers in Indonesia regularly print the military press releases on the capture or surrender of
"GPK" members; while Tempo and Editor, the two leading newsweeklies in the country, have mentioned Hasan di Tiro's name, the phrase "Aceh
Merdeka" never appears in any of the daily newspapers in Aceh or elsewhere.
The press is also subject to pressure from Aceh Merdeka. A flyer sent to eight newspapers in Aceh and North Sumatra in July warned journalists against continuing to use "untrue and one- sided" military press releases. "We will take action and do whatever is necessary against newspapers which continue to disregard Aceh
Merdeka," the flyer read. "We are not enemies of the Malaya, Padang [sic] or Batak peoples [all ethnic groups in Sumatra] but we are enemies of the Javanese colonizers."
The human rights violations committed in Aceh fall into a pattern of systematic and gross abuses already well-established in Indonesia. The large number of unidentified bodies killed in the same manner is reminiscent of the "mysterious killings" in 1983-85 when the security forces embarked on an anti-crime campaign using summary executions as a form of "shock therapy." The military blames the
"GPK" for the deaths; if serious and impartial inquests and autopsies were conducted, the validity of those claims could be tested.
The mass arrests and physical abuse of villagers in areas where political violence has occurred follow the pattern established in East Timor, Irian Jaya and Central Java during
periods of Muslim activism. The torture techniques reported from Aceh occur throughout Indonesia, including in Jakarta police stations. Despite repeated appeals to the Indonesian government by human rights and humanitarian organizations, the government has made little or no progress in preventing these abuses.
Asia Watch calls on the Indonesian government to:
1. issue a full and detailed list of all those arrested, detained and released since mid-1989 in connection with the violence in Aceh and make these lists available in designated places so that the families of prisoners and missing persons can consult it. The
list should include the date and place of arrest, current place of detention, and date and place of release.
2. thoroughly investigate all reports of summary execution and torture and make a public commitment to prosecute those responsible.
3. implement the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code (KUHAP) with respect to arrest and detention procedures and the rights of suspects. If those arrested are all criminals, as the government notes, there is no excuse whatsoever for not applying the provisions of the Code.
4. appoint an independent team of doctors to conduct thorough autopsies on all bodies of those who appear to have died unnatural deaths.
5. allow international human rights and humanitarian organizations access to Aceh to visit prisons and conduct independent autopsies or other forensic investigations as needed.
6. strictly monitor the activities of civil patrols, ensuring participation is not forced, that the patrols are not encouraged to engage in arrests or the use of force against civilians.
7. discipline any member of the security forces, including commanding officers, who urge citizens to take the law into their own hands or exhort others to violence.
8. ensure that all those arrested have immediate access to lawyers as guaranteed by the Criminal Procedure Code.
9. lift all restrictions, formal or informal, on the flow of information to and from and about Aceh.
Appendix 1 : CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS IN ACEH 1989-90
January 17, 1989, PIDIE:
Ny. Pawang Rashid, 50, the wife of Rashid, an Aceh Merdeka commander, arrested in Pulo
Loih, Geumpang, and detained in Lammuelo (Lamlo).
January 20, 1989, PIDIE:
Yusuf Ahmed, a farmer, shot at his home in Truseb, Tiro.
February 14, 1989, PIDIE:
Yunus Abdullah, farmer, 53, from Labo Adang, arrested and tortured in
Lammuelo. Reported to have died after release.
March 10, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Riot took place following protests against performances of the "Oriental Circus" in an Air Force-owned arena in Simpang
Empat, Lhokseumawe. Several vehicles were burned and overturned, and troops had to be sent in. Residents were particularly incensed about performances on Thursday nights, on which many Muslim prayer meetings take place, and the fact that the circus loudspeakers were interfering with the call to prayer. No one was killed. No known link to Aceh
March 15, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Five thousand fully armed troops from the police and district military commands were mobilized after reports that high school students from all over North Aceh were going to attack the civil registration office on Jalan Raya
Cunda, Lhoksemawe. Eight students were detained. No known link to Aceh Merdeka.
April 7, 1989, EAST ACEH:
Teungku Abdurrachman bin Budiman, 21, arrested at his home in Teupin Batee, Lhoknibong after giving a rousing speech three days earlier at an outdoor rally in front of some 10,000 people in Lancang Barat, Muara Batu, North Aceh where he called parliamentarians swindlers, urged people not to pay taxes and called for an independent Aceh. After the lecture there were several incidents of violence against police and an attack on a car driven by a man of Chinese descent. (See entries under October 14, 1989; December 6, 1989, below)
May 2, 1989 (also seen as end of April), PIDIE:
Zainuddin Faqih, 45, a trader, shot dead at the home of second wife in Pulo, Tiro, Pidie, by Corporal M. Gade of subdistrict military command (KORAMIL). Faqih was reported to be a district-level commander for Aceh Merdeka; Gade was reportedly assigned to destroy the remnants of the movement.
May 30, 1989, PIDIE:
Corporal Gade, 32, and First Lieutenant Zakarya, 45, commanding officer of the subdistrict military post (KORAMIL), were ambushed in Neuheun Meunasah Pulo, Siblah, Tiro while returning from a meeting. Both were killed. The killing was said to be in reprisal for the killing of Faqih, above.
Guru Ibrahim, 35, from Pulo Neuhen; Geusjik Yakob, 50, village head of Meunasah Mesjid; Sa'at, 39, of Meunsah Cot; and Ny. Tjupo Dalikha Isak, 45, of Truseb, all arrested (not clear whether as a group or not) and detained in Lammuelo.
June 12, 1989, PIDIE:
Pawang Ibrahim Puteh, 51 from Cubo, brought to Lammuelo, then on June 15 to Blang Keudah, where he was reportedly shot.
July 18, 1989, PIDIE:
Ny. Cupo Aman Abu Bakar, 40, wife of Abu Bakar, a man being sought by army, detained with daughter.
August 22, 1989, PIDIE:
Arrest of Yusuf Sulaiman, 22. See above, p.6. He was released on April 25.
September 9, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Toke Cut, 63, a businessman in Lhokseumawe, was arrested in Kreung Geukueh, following an attack on a military patrol in which two soldiers were killed. According to one report, he happened to be driving a Toyota Kijang vehicle of the same make and color used by Aceh Merdeka in the attack. He was taken to the Lhokseumawe KODIM, then transferred to the Gaperta (Gang Koprata) jail in Medan. He was released on April 25, 1990.
Others arrested about the same time in connection with the attack were Rahman Toyo of Paloh, who remains in prison and is expected to be tried in January 1991; his brother, Jaoni, who has been released; Yusuf Sulaiman (see above under August 22, Pidie); Ibrahim Gayo, from Takengon; and Geucik Yunus from Kreung Geukueh. Geucik Yunus and Ibrahim Gayo may be still in jail.
September 26, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Private Ismail Ali, member of Battalion III, Company B of Kampung Rawa Sigli, shot in Kreung Tuan, Nisam. Private Zakaria, with him, was severely wounded.
October 1, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Zakaria Paloh, 35, arrested in Paloh, Lhokseumawe.
October 2, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Abdurrachman A. Samad, 33, a businessman from Pase; Zaini A. Samad, 30, his brother, arrested in Paloh, Lhokseumawe. Detained first in Lhokseumawe, then moved to Medan; had been moved as of January 1990, not clear where.
Geucik (village head) Yunus Imim Saidin, 49, arrested in Nisam together with wife, Rohani Yunus; 15-year-old relative, Nuriah Yusuf; and another relative, Jalaluddin Sjeikh Mud, 20, apparently suspected of involvement in the killing of two soldiers in Kreung Geukueh in August 1989. Geucik Yunus was reported detained in Gaperta prison, Medan; the others may have been released.
October 14, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Trial began of Teungku Abdurrahman, 27, in Lhokseumawe District Court, a young Muslim preacher from Simpang Ulim, East Aceh (see entry for April 7, above). He was charged with
subversion. He denied ties to Aceh Merdeka.
October 25, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Bukhari Abdurrahman, 26, arrested in Lhee Simpang, Juneib, as a suspected Aceh Merdeka supporter.
November 7, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Abidin Ismail, 22, of Meunasah Keutapang, Nisam, arrested, brought to district army command in Lhokseumawe at 3 am.
November 10, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Moh. Tayeb Nusyah, 27, farmer, resident of Kandang, Pase arrested, transferred between prisons.
November 18, 1989, PIDIE:
Ahmad Tahir, 31, reportedly from Mat Janggut, Samalanga and a suspected Aceh Merdeka supporter, arrested while eating in Blang Batee. He was brought to the army post in Bireuen, taken to the KODIM in Sigli, and moved from there to Lhokseumawe KODIM. He ended up in Gaperta prison in Medan; believed released on April 25, 1990.
Usman Yusuf, 20, student from Pante Ceureumen, arrested on suspicion of Aceh Merdeka support; released on April 25, 1990.
November 19, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Fakruddin Ahmad, 21, arrested in Meunasah Dayah, Simpang Kramat.
November 20, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
At 1pm, seven soldiers, apparently in civilian clothes, drove up to an auto repair shop in Matang Geulumpung Duwa. One of them pretended to buy gasoline from one Rusli Taleb, who worked in the shop. Two men who were in the shop at the time, Zulkifli Hamid, 35, and Bakhtiar Ibrahim, 27 (also known as Zakaria Tjureh), were seized by four other soldiers who tried to force them into the car. Both tried to escape, although warned by the soldiers not to do so. Zulkifli was shot several times, in the thigh, waist and face. The soldiers took him to the health center in Matang Geulumpung Dua where they told the doctors that he was
a wanted criminal. He recovered, was transferred to Gaperta prison in Medan, and was eventually released on April 25, 1990. Zakaria alias Bakhtiar Ibrahim was shot in the ear, severely beaten and taken to the KODIM in Lhokseumawe. He too was released in April and is reportedly being used as a guide by the military to patrol the bus terminals in Medan and Lhokseumawe. A third man, Rusli Taleb, 23, escaped.
November 21, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Armia Usman, 28, from Cot Trieng, Kreung Mane, arrested; interrogated at Lhokseumawe; released on April 25, 1990.
December 6, 1989, NORTH ACEH:
Teungku Abdurrahman sentenced to ten years in prison on subversion charges; the prosecutor had asked for 15. (See above, October 14, April 7).
December 10, 1989, PIDIE:
Fauzi Jamil, 30 from Uleegle, arrested on suspicion of Aceh Merdeka support; released on April 25, 1990.
December 13, 1989, PIDIE:
Anuar bin Junet, 28, from Gampong Are, arrested while working as a caigrette seller in Takengon, Central Aceh. He was taken to the army command posts first in Lammuelo, then to Sigli.
December 21, 1989, PIDIE:
Marzuki Gp. Are, 32, from Meunasah Pu-uek, Gampong Are, arrested at his home, taken to Sigli KODIM, then to Banda Aceh.
January 1, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Ahmad bin Yahya arrested on the way home from work in a fishpond. He is a resident of Blang Batee, Peureulak.
January 15, 1990, PIDIE:
Sulaiman Njak Gapi, 42, from Beuracan, Meureudu, arrested without warrant by four soldiers, beaten unconscious and taken to KODIM in Sigi. He was later transferred to Banda Aceh. Released April 25, 1990.
Anuar Ali, 29, of Panton Labu was arrested after being shot by soldiers in Panton Labu.
February 2, 1990, PIDIE:
A man named Din Lahar, suspected informer of the district military command, KODIM, in Sigli was killed in Tiro, apparently by Aceh Merdeka supporters. In an effort to find the killers, soldiers reportedly arrested wives of suspected Aceh Merdeka supporters, including the wife of Tenugku Guecik Umar Ibrahim, Cut Po Adek; A. Gani Ahmad's wife, Cut Po Ayat; and the wives of Nyak Adam and Mohammed. They were taken to Lamlo (Lammuelo) prison and reportedly beaten and kicked with spiked shoes to get them to give information on their husbands' whereabouts and activities.
March 17, 1990, PIDIE:
Two police officers shot while walking home late at night. One killed, the second seriously wounded. Said by local officials to have been GPK attack in retaliation for police campaigns against local ganja crops.
March-April 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Sergeant Major Rahman Alibasa, a retired former interrogator, intelligence agent and torturer of Aceh Merdeka suspects, was sitting in a coffee stall in Panta Labu when five
people came up in a red jeep pretending to buy cigarettes; he was stabbed to death in front of his wife.
April 3, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Corporal Jalil, member of the Police Sector in Syamtalira Aron, was shot dead by suspected separatists at the police station in the middle of the night. The gunmen reportedly got away in a minibus.
April 15, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Two youths on a motorcycle, both residents of Banda Aceh, shot dead at Simpang Ulim military checkpoint. Both were going from Lhokseumawe heading toward Langsa and failed to stop. Corpses were washed by residents of Simpang Mulieng, then sent to Banda Aceh.
Agus Effendi, son of Assistant Provincial Secretary Abdul Jalil, was killed by officer at checkpoint investigating his identity card on the Cunda Bridge, Lhokseumawe. He was out to buy food for the pre-sunrise meal during the fasting month and was killed in his car.
April 20, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Corporal Faisal, 23, and M. Butar Butar were shot dead in Alue Nirah, Peurelak by unidentified assailants.
April 21, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Aceh Merdeka supporters reportedly seized a pistol from a policeman named A. Rasjid in the village of Ulee Ateueng. The policeman was not killed. In retaliation, according to one
report, 31 villagers were rounded up on the orders of an officer named Sujono, stationed at Kuta Binjai, Peurelak. They were kicked and beaten with rifle butts in public. They were then taken to the town of Bagok and made to stand in a fish pond until 5 am the next morning. As of May 30, five had been released; the others remained in prison in Kreung Tuan, Peureulak. The original 31 men arrested were as follows:
Ishak Mat Hasan, Hasballah, G.M. Ali, Buket Meurak, M. Jacob Idris, Imum Hasjem, Ulee Buket,
G. Piah Hasjem, Buket Meurak, M. Musa Cot Hasan, Djafar Abdullah, Paja Kruep, Manah, Ibrahim Pang, Usman Majid, Abdullah, Thaib Bantajan, Sudin Bakar, Adnan H.S., Ahmad Yahya Cot Asan, Abdullah Toke Andah, Raman Yahya Pulo U., Bakar Him Rambong, Pak Din Abdullah, Ali Arbi, Tgk. Din Hamid, Tgk. Nurdin Adam, Geucik Aceh, Jakob A. Jalil, Yusuf, Tgk. Muhadanan, Tgk. Mus Pulo U., Aneuk Ibrahim, Badron, Tgk. Razali Kasem, Jusuf Jalil.
April 29, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Two corpses found in Bayu. One was Mohamad Jakfar Ahmad of Meunasah Blang, the other unknown. Both were believed to be military informers; one had just come from the regional military command, KOREM. According to one source, the eyes of the victims had been gouged out and their throats slit until their necks were almost severed. Both bodies were brought to Lhokseumawe General Hospital and were finally buried by the local social welfare office.
A few days later, two suspected GPK killed in clash with army in Jeunieb.
Late April 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Corpse found near golf course of PT Arun. Identified as Razali Ahmad, 35, of Meunasah Teumpeuen, Syamtalira Aron. Died of gunshot wound.
April/May 1990, PIDIE:
A Directorate of Irrigation vehicle shot by security forces in plain clothes as it passed through a checkpoint in Trieng Gading, Office manager of the district irrigation project seriously wounded.
First week of May 1990, PIDIE:
Two policemen riding a motorcycle attacked in Klibant village on their way to Sigli after leaving Delima police station. Both killed. Official statement says they were killed by GPK in retaliation for police raids against local ganja crops.
May 2, 1990 (may be same incident as above):
Corporal A. Gani and Sergeant Ilyas, both members of Mutiara Police Sector, shot and killed by unidentified assailants while riding a motorcycle in Reubee, Pidie.
May 4, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Husin, 37, of Desa Lancok, Syamtalira Bayu, killed by unknown assailants in Blang Nibung Samudra. His throat had been slit until he was almost decapitated.
May 6, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Sergeant Zainuddin, 45, stabbed by unknown assailant while riding a motorcycle in Bintang Hu, Lhoksukon. (Not clear whether he was a sergeant in the police or military.)
May 13, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Javanese transmigrant from Seunobok Rambung named Jono, 22, approached by 8 "GPK" with two guns demanding that all transmigrants leave area. As a result of the intimidation, Jono
decided to return to Java.
May 15, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Farmer named Slamet of Teupin Raya also approached by GPK and warned that transmigrants should leave area.
May 21, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Muhamad Zaini, a fisherman from Eurebe Timur, Seunodon, shot by GPK while riding a motorcycle.
May 24, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Radis, 20, a medicinal herb seller, killed in Keutapung, Lhoksukon. Throat slit until his neck was almost severed. Army announced that the GPK was responsible for the execution.
May 27, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Muhamad M, 45, a member of the district parliament (DPRD) from the ruling GOLKAR party, shot in the hand by unkown assailants while riding a motorcycle in the city of Lhoksukon.
May 28, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Unknown assailants using Mobil Oil vehicle stormed police Base Camp Bhakti in Sukamakmur (Buloh Blang Ara). Two soldiers killed, another wounded, and a student at a technical high school killed. The perpetrators got away with 17 M-16s and ammunition.
May 31, 1990, EAST ACEH:
35 GPK supporters in Rambonglub village, Idi Rayeuk, threaten 60 heads of households in a transmigrant area that they would be killed unless they returned to Java. Those threatened
formed themselves into a self-defense group.
June 3, 1990, PIDIE:
Member of Koramil stabbed to death outside coffee shop in Grong Grong. Believed killed by GPK.
June 4, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Army ambushed members of the GPK in Langsa and killed at least one man, wounded three others and confiscated a pistol and a "jungle rifle" from them. Later the same day, the army was taking the bodies into Langsa when the GPK attacked and killed three soldiers and injured two others. (army press release)
June 6, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Yunus, 32, a farmer from Lhung-i, Simpang Ulim, shot dead in Alue Bawe (also seen as Alue Beurawe), Langsa, during a 6am raid by KODIM 0104 and the East Acehnese police on a GPK meeting at the home of Bachtiar bin Ismail alias Yahya, 35. (A second source gives Yunus's home village as Sungai Lueng.) Bachtiar's home was a suspected command post of Aceh Merdeka. Arrested were Bachtiar Ismail, Adnan (also seen as Azman) bin Daud, 27, a resident of Sungai Pauh; Jamaluddin, 45, a farmer; Basri bin Ramli, 38, a resident of Malaysia originally from Sigli, Pidie; and Syafie. The army say they confiscated a pistol, a rifle, four grenades and ammunition from the house.
At 5pm, in Bintah village, Simpang Ulim, the GPK attacked an ambulance carrying the body of a policeman, Yunus (not clear if this is related to the Yunus mentioned above). Killed in the attack were Corporal Sumaningan, Corporal Yatim, Private Zulkifli and the driver, Jalil.
June 7, 1990, PIDIE:
Ramli Saleh, 38, resident of Cumbok, believed to be police informer shot in Cumbok, Sakti subdistrict.
June 9, 1990, PIDIE:
Two men claiming to be army soldiers shot Daud Puteh, 40, an administrative official of a junior high school in Beureunen. They came to his home in Truseb, Tiro, in civilian clothes but claiming to be KODIM soldiers. He was reportedly wounded in the thigh.
June 11, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Ali Gayo, 45, ex-teacher of an Islamic primary school from Arongan Baktiya, found shot dead in Cot Manyang. Aceh Merdeka sources claim he was an informer whose information led to arrest of Yusuf Sulaiman of Alue ie Puteh, Panton Labu.
June 14, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Mohamad Nur bin Abubakar, 45, of Leung, Jeunib, shot by three men on a black motorcycle. Zainal, 35, of neighboring village begame target of GPK and was severely wounded.
June 15, 1990, EAST ACEH:
A logging truck with license BK 2423 BC owned by PT Nalang Raya was ambushed by eight members of the GPK armed with three rifles in the village of Alue Nire. The driver and his assistant mistreated, their identity cards taken and the truck burned. Another vehicle which was passing at the time was stopped, fired upon and the identity cards of the occupants taken. A Toyota jeep which tried to pass was stopped, the identity card of the owner stolen, and the jeep itself showered with bullets. No one in the jeep was injured.
June 17, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
A police station in Matang Kuli was attacked at 1:30am by a group of suspected Aceh Merdeka supporters, who sprayed the station with bullets. One man, Syamsul bin Arifin, 29, was killed and two others, Ibrahim, 30, and Usman, 28, were wounded as they watched the World Cup soccer competition on television.
June 19, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
The corpse of Syamaun, 52, of Cot Mamplan, Kandang, found in an alley in Alue Kreung, Meunasah Manyang, Kandang.
June 21, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Flyer found in Kedai Baru, Simpang Ulim, warning residents not to side with the government or Javanese. In two months, it said according to the press, Aceh would be independent.
June 21, 1990, EAST ACEH:
A logging truck in Rambong Payong, Peureulak, was attacked and burned as it was crossing over a bridge. Two men, believed to be members of the truck's crew, were found dead in the river below. (army press release)
In the village of Kedai Baru, Simpang Ulim, posters were found urging the people of Aceh not to side with the Javanese government and saying that independence would be proclaimed in two months. The posters were signed by Hasan di Tiro, President; Ali Paseh, Commanding General; and Robert, Chief of Operations. The village head reported his findings to the police.
June 23, 1990:
The spokesman for the military in Jakarta, Brigadier General Nurhadi, told reporters that "the terrorist actions" in Aceh "were absolutely not politically motivated." (Jawa Pos).
June 25, 1990, EAST ACEH:
An unidentified male body was found decomposing in the river in Alue Sudep, Rantau Selamat.
June 26, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Zakaria bin Asjem, 25; Zulkifli; Raman Gampong Nisam, 40; and Isa bin Itam, 28, were arrested during a military operation in Jingki, Rambong Pajong, Peureulak. They were part of a group of 32 men rounded up outside a shop and kicked, hit with rifle butts and otherwise abused. They were reportedly taken to a detention center on Asamera Road.
June 27, 1990, EAST ACEH:
An unidentified body was found on the main road in Kampung Bukit Selamat, subdistrict Rantau Selamat. The skull was fractured and on the man's shirt was written "Awas orang gila
bunga mawar Bogor halus" (Beware of people crazy about the delicate rose of Bogor).
June 29, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Seven people shot dead in Sarah Buluh village, Tanahluas, including one solider, one policeman and one child. They were in a vehicle guarded by two police and four soldiers, which had just left the office of an enterprise at Kreung Pase after paying the salaries of workers there.
June 30, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Two men, Iskandar Ali and Azhar Sungai Paoh, killed at 10 am in Alue Pineung, Langsa, by Indonesian troops. A third man, Abubakar Sungai Paoh, was taken away. As of September, he was still missing.
The newspaper Kompas on July 6 reported that one Iskandar was shot dead by members of KODIM 0104 while "resisting arrest". May be same as above.
Another Kompas report on July 2, noted that one "Is" had been shot dead in Sei Pauh (perhaps the same as Sunghai Paoh) after shooting at an official. He had been riding an RX King motorcycle with a friend which slowed down as it appoarached a security officer. There was an exchange of fire, and the two tried to escape. Is was shot in the chest and died; the friend escaped.
July 1, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
According to a military press release, Yusuf AB, a GPK leader, shot dead at 6:15am in a military raid in Matang Seujuk, Baktiya. The military said he resisted arrest and tried to escape so soldiers were forced to shoot. In the "Black Book" issued by Hasan di Tiro, Yunus is identified as the "Governor of Pase Province" of the Islamic State of Acheh Sumatra. The village head of Matang Seujeuk was reportedly arrested.
July 2, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Villagers in Gampong Simpang Peu, Rambong Pajong were assembled by Indonesian troops and 18 men were arrested. They included:
Tgk. Yusuf, 65, a mosque reader; Sulaiman Yusuf; Rasjid bin Abdurrachman; Abdulthaleb, 30;
Ilyas bin Zakaria, 30; Yachja bin Sulaiman, 22; Ridhwan bin Sulaiman, 19; Saifuddin Abdullah, 23; Sufjan bin Daod, 30; Idris bin Iskandar, 23; Abubakar bin Sidik, 27; Bahrum bin Idris, 19; Salim bin Adam, 30; Rusli bin Abdulmanaf, 18; Thaeb bin Yusuf, 23; Amri bin Ali, 35; Mahdi, 20; Nurdin bin Ali, 25.
July 4, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Some 42 families or 200 people forced to flee to Bireuen after being threatened by GPK in Pinto Rimba, Peudada, and said they were taking a bus back to Java. The subdistrict military commander tried to persuade them to return with a military escort, but they refused. There had been threats and flyers in the village warning them to leave by 5 am on July 5.
In the village of Alue Papuen, Jemarun, 45, a village resident, and Suparjono, from Darussalam, Banda Aceh, were shot dead and Jemarun's house burned down. Perpetrators unknown.
July 5, 1990:
Commander in chief of the Indonesian armed forces General Try Sutrisno stated that the total membership in "GPK" is 30, and that they were linked to marijuana planting. (Kompas)
July 6, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Two vehicles leaving base camp of PTPV, Krueng Pase, with ten and eight people aboard respectively was ambushed by gunmen. When they opened fire, Corporal Naser from KODIM 0103 and Sergeant Ilyas of the North Aceh Police were killed together with five civilians.
July 7, 1990, PIDIE:
Aceh Merdeka flag raised in Bireunen Market with notice on the flag that all Javanese should leave the area or face death.
July 9, 1990, EAST ACEH:
An unidentified male corpse was found in the village of Bukit Rata on the plantation of PT Mapoli Raya in Kejuruan Muda. The hands of the victim were tied together and the body was
covered with stab wounds.
July 10, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Zulkifli from Mon Geudong, Lhokseumawe was arrested, reportedly after laughing at a group of soldiers. His hands were tied behind his back and he was taken by truck to the Lhokseumawe KODIM. He was beaten and cut with razor blades and held for two months. He still bled frequently from his mouth after his release.
July 11, 1990:
Commander of the Indonesian armed forces General Try Sutrisno says in Jakarta that between April and June, the military arrested 50 people in Aceh. (Kompas)
July 12, 1990:
Governor Ibrahim Hasan announced that more troops would be sent to Aceh. His statement followed a meeting with President Suharto in Jakarta in which the President stated that crime in Aceh must be wiped out. The governor also claimed that only six subdistricts in Aceh were affected, four in North Aceh and two in East Aceh. (Kompas).
July 13, 1990, PIDIE:
Daud bin Mahmud, 45, resident of Blang Pandeh, Tangse, killed in Bane, Geumpang, reportedly by GPK.
July 13, 1990, PIDIE:
Mustafa, 32, a suspected Aceh Merdeka supporter, shot and killed by security forces at 8 pm while allegedly trying to escape arrest in Uleegle.
July 14, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
A massacre reportedly took place in Simpang Keramat and Buloh Blang Ara in which soldiers took 26 villagers to the area and shot them. The report, if true, may have been in retaliation for the May 28 attack on the military cited above.
July 17, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Anwar (also seen as Azhar bin Asyek) of Alue Nirim, Peurelak, was shot dead by the Siwa Kuning intelligence unit of KODIM 0104 during an armed clash in the village of Alue Nobong,
Peurelak. The military had surprised a clandestine meeting of Aceh Merdeka. The dead man, Anwar/Azhar, 23, was a former soldier; six of his comrades escaped.
July 17, 1990, EAST ACEH:
The decapitated body of Majid, 50, a villager from Gampong Pante Rambong, Simpang Ulim, was found in the bushes, covered with dry leaves.
July 18, 1990, PIDIE:
Three killed, one wounded in military operation to wipe out "pockets of resistance" in Aluebate Measah, Geumpang subdistrict. Abdullah Hamid, 30, and Burhan bin Tawang Harun, 18, were two of those killed. Wounded (and presumably arrested) was Alamsyah, who was taken to a hospital in Lhokseumawe. Anwar, killed the day before, was victim of same operation (Kompas, July 20, 1990)
Four soldiers on patrol from Battalion 113 in Birueun shot by GPK. Wounded were Sergeant Mahyidin, Sergeant Yosef Simbiring, Korporal Wagimin and Korporal Sunardi.
Private Yono, together with wife and child, were abducted by GPK in Tangseh, Pidie. Shortly afterwards, officers from the KORAMIL (subdistrict military command) in Geumpang engaged a group of GPK in an armed clash, leading to two GKP killed and two others wounded. Two days later, the body of Private Yono was found in Maneh, Geumpang.
July 18, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Sixteen men arrested in Rambong Pajong, Peureulak: Yusuf, 55; Sulaiman, 45; Ansari A. Gani, 20; Musa bin Abdurrachman, 30; Usman bin Adam, 35; Ridhwan bin Ibrahim, 25; Thalib bin Abdullah, 35; Basri bin Yasin, 30; Husen bin Umar, 18; Nurdin bin Bakar, 25; Sulaiman bin Yacob, 25; Ishak bin Idris, 30; Jamil bin Thaleb, 25; Anwar bin Djafar, 30; Razali bin Adam, 25.
Azwar Yahya shot and killed in Lhok Nilam, Peureulak (one source says he was killed at 5 pm on July 17). That night in Sungo Raja, Toke Thaleb, 40 and Toke Abdullah, 35 shot and
killed. M. Djafar Aneuk Muda, 17, was arrested and taken to Alue Bu and later shot and killed.
July 19, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Idris bin Jamil, 35, arrested in Alue ie Mirah.
July 19, 1990, PIDIE:
Former village head of Blang Klueng, Ibrahim bin Ahmad, 60, shot while teaching Quran reading in his house. Government says GPK was responsible; local residents believe it was the army.
22 residents of Geumpang and Tangse arrested on suspicion of involvement with GPK.
July 20, 1990, PIDIE:
Seventeen villagers detained after armed clash in Cubo and as of early September were detained in the KODIM headquarters.
July 21, 1990:
Regional commander General H.R. Pramono announced that the "GPK" would be crushed by the end of the year.
July 23, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Three villagers killed near Alue ie Mirah bridge; two bodies thrown into river, one brought to rubber plantation.
July 24, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Isminar, 25, and Ibrahim bin Ismail, 28, killed in military assaults in Ulee Rubek Barat and Ulee Rubek Timor. Four people arrested: Ali Basyah, 55; Nurdin, 30; Sukri, 34; and Mahdin Amin, 30. According to the military, the group had killed a 12-year- old child who had found their hideout.
July 25, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
According to a military press release, Abdullah Ismail bin Ibrahim, 30, from Manyang Kandang, Muaradua, turned himself in to the regional command, KOREM 011/Lilawangsa in Lhokseumawe. The military said he was a district-level (sago) commander of the GPK. Residents said he was an ironmonger who came under suspicion because he made knives.
July 25, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Four men arrested while eating breakfast near a shop in Alue ie Mirah. They were killed by Indonesian troops and their bodies thrown by the road.
Village head or Geuchik of Paja Reudeup Kuta Buloh District killed.
July 27, 1990, EAST ACEH:
A state high school in Idi Rayeuk was burned and partially destroyed. The principal, Zainal Arifin, had been sent a letter by Aceh Merdeka warning him not to give the standard Pancasila training course (commonly called P-4) or teach Pancasila Morality Education. He was also warned not to wear the official shirt of the civil servants organization, KORPRI.
July 28, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Mohamad Saleh of Samalanga arrested around Meulaboh. He was riding a motorcycle suspected of being one used by the GPK. In his interrogation, he admitted having killed a man in Jeuneb before fleeing to Meulaboh.
July 29, 1990, EAST ACEH:
A youth in Peurelak was arrested by the military for possessing political flyers. He was taken to the local KODIM.
July 31, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Zulkifli, a suspected Aceh Merdeka supporter from Damar Tutong village, was shot dead by a uniformed soldier for resisting arrest.
Late July-early August,NORTH ACEH:
Transmigrants from Sidomulyo, Kota Makmur who had been intimidated by Aceh Merdeka supporters into leaving the area had been put up by the government in a building in Lhokseumawe. They were eventually persuaded to return to the area, and a ceremony was held in back in Sidomulyo on their return. At the time of the ceremony, all of the residents were summoned by the military (North Aceh KODIM and regional KOREM), and 16 of them taken away.
The body of one was returned with marks of torture; the other 15 have not been seen since. No names are available.
August 2, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Killing of Sulaiman Ampo Ali, 37, from Matang Reubek, North Aceh. See above, p.6
August 3, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
North Aceh government officials distribute paper Indonesian flags to all residents to hang outside their homes.
According to local officials, GPK carried out series of robberies in Matangkuli, including one at 3pm in the village of Bukit Pidie. The second took place at 11pm in the village of Pantai Bahagia.
August 5, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Some 655 men from 33 villages in Seuneudon and Ulee Ruebek "surrendered" in a mass ceremony. See above, p.9.
Zainuddin, 32, married with two children and Mahdi, 22, were arrested at Ulee Reubek Barat while returning from fishing. They were driven to Lhokseumawe for interrogation. Mahdi was severely beaten but eventually released. Zainuddin was shot several times in the leg during interrogation and taken away after a month in detention. He has not reappeared.
Nurdin Amin from Kreung Panjoe, Batee Iliek, was on his way to work at a fishpond in Kuala Simpang Ulim, when soldiers asked to see his identity card (KTP). He was arrested and held for 15 days, subjected to electric shocks and hit on the kneecap repeatedly with a stick.
August 8, 1990, PIDIE:
Several religious leaders in and around Sigli were arrested on suspicion of supporting Aceh Merdeka. Three had been held incommunicado as of late September: Haji Muhammad Husin, 48; Haji Ibrahim, 49, a Chinese convert to Islam from Padang Tiji, Sigli; and Tengku Raja Cut, 37 from Lambeuteut, Garot-Sigli.
August 9, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Yusuf Abdullah, suspected GPK district commander for Kuta Aentang, Pase, originally from Glumpang Bungkok, Baktiya, turned himself in to KOREM 011/Lilawangsa, according to the regional military commander. He reportedly had 10 villages under his control.
August 11, 1990, EAST ACEH:
A Daihatsu bus, license number BL 1545 D was found burned by the side of the road in Paya Rumpeut, Rantau Selamat. It is not known what happened to the driver or his assistant and no reports were ever made to the police.
Fifteen soldiers entered village of Lueng Peuet IV to hunt for a man named Juneid Toke Daud from Lueng Sa I. He was captured at his fish pond, beaten, stripped, and made to walk naked with the soldiers. As of late September, he had not been seen.
August 12, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Indonesian flags hung around the office of the subdistrict head of Peurelak, Rantau Panjang, were found ripped up and tossed in the street. The same thing happened to flags hung on the elementary school in Kuala Langsa.
August 17, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Some 36 members of GPK from the villages of Cut Rabo Baro and Matang Mamplam, subdistrict Peusangan declared their loyalty to the government following Friday prayers. The head of the subdistrict military commander and local chief of police attended. (official sources)
August 17, 1990, PIDIE:
27 villagers detained at KODIM Sigli following their arrest in Tangse.
August 18, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Some 346 residents of the village of Tanjung Beridi, Peusangan, returned to the fold of the government and declared their loyalty to the New Order and Pancasila. The ceremony was
conducted by the Kopassus commander, Baharuddin Ali.
August 19, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Geucik Hasbi, the village head of Meulasah Bili Lhoksukon, was stripped in public and kicked before being taken to the Kopassus camp in Rancong, Lhokseumawe.
September 1, 1990, CENTRAL ACEH:
Liga Din Syah arrested at 11pm at his home in Pondok Teungah, Takengon, near the Kertas Kraft Aceh factory (there is some confusion over the exact date; in a letter from prison he
says he was arrested on a Wednesday, which would make the date of arrest September 5.)
Anwar, brother of Usman, shot in Takengon together with 11 others.
September 9, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Nur Rebet from Neubok Rambong and Saiful K. Aceh Idi were killed by the military, apparently after an armed clash. Several other suspected Aceh Merdeka supporters were arrested at a cattle ranch at Idi Rajek, about 3.5 km from Idi where many Acehnese returning from Malaysia had reportedly gathered. Yusuf Tiro and Teungku Yub Hamzah were two of those reported arrested and tortured.
September 12, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Some 56 male prisoners held in a special forces (Kopassus) camp in Rancong, Lhokseumawe, were reportedly stripped, driven to Cot Panglima in a truck, and executed just off the 28km point of the Takengon Road. Among those killed were M. Isa Kasem of
Panton Labu; M. Umar of Panton Labu; Ishak of Punteut; Badai of Lapang; Rasjid of Lapang; Sopian of Matang Sidjeuk; Usof of Matang Sidjeuk; Muchtar of Lapang; Sulaiman of Lapang; Rasjit of Mancang, Lhokksukon and Basri of Garot-Pidie.
mid-September 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Farmer in Jali, Jeumpa, found eight bodies.
September 14, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Muhammed Taleb, 18, was arrested in Matang Reubek, Panton Labu. According to one report, his hands were tied, he was taken to a ricefield and kicked until he died.
September 15, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Teungku Jafar, 40, arrested in Alue ie Mirah. His body was later found shot in Metareum.
T. Rizwan Lidan, 32, was arrested on returning to his village from Malaysia on September. He lives in Kuala Idi. His whereabouts were unknown as of the end of September.
September 18, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Ibrahim Ado from Putoh, Simpang Ulim, Peureulak was arrested; he was ill at the time. He was kicked and stepped on, then taken away in a truck. His body was brought back to the
subdistrict military command post in Simpang Ulim on September 20.
September 20, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Geuchik Usman Adji Putoh killed by soldiers at Simpang Kreung Tho, Simpang Ulim. Both his arms were reportedly broken, and he was killed by beating.
September 21, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Teungku Yasin, 50, head of a local mosque was arrested on suspicion of helping Aceh Merdeka. As of the end of September, his whereabouts were not known.
September 27, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Ibrahim Hanafi shot by soldiers at Cot Pante Bayan,
September 28, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
General Pramono, regional military commander, released 140 GPK detainees from prison in Lhokseumawe.
October 5, 1990, NORTH ACEH:
Paratroopers reportedly dropped in Aceh during Army Day commemoration.
October 17, 1990, EAST ACEH:
Four people suspected Aceh Merdeka supporters arrested by civil militia, "Laskar Rakyat" in Idicut.
October 21, 1990, PIDIE:
On the Tangse-Pidie road, a Zebra passenger van was attacked by a single gunman from the front, killing four people.
October 27, 1990, PIDIE:
Armed clash took place between military and GPK in Glee Cirich, Delima; over a dozen GPK arrested.
Younger brother and mother of GPK member named Arjuna from Batee, Pidie arrested.
November 8, 1990, PIDIE:
Armed clash took place in Uleeglee after local police station (Polsek) received a report of an Aceh Merdeka meeting. A corporal and sergeant were shot.
November 10, 1990:
Imum Wahab, the nazir of the mosque in Paloh, Muaradua, Aceh Utara, arrested with seven others for protesting failure of the military to bury bodies in accordance with Islamic practices.
November 1990, NORTH ACEH:
District head Ramli Ridwan forms civil patrols called Bela Negara ("Defend the State") which have about 200 recruits trained in military drills and Pancasila but not given guns because they would just be stolen by the GPK.