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P.O. Box 2084, S-145 02 Norsborg, Sweden

Stockholm, 9 January 2000

State Terrorism in Acheh is In Progress

Unable to contain the growing activities of the Free Acheh Movement (GAM), which seeks self-determination and restoration of its ancient independence from Indonesian colonialist regime, Jakarta has resorted to state terrorism in Acheh: arresting, torturing and murdering unarmed civilians of suspected sympathisers of GAM.

The current phase of the reign of terror and intimidation has now been directed towards not only ordinary civilians but also students who demand for a referendum, as the only democratic and peaceful way to solve the Acheh's problem, and non-governmental organisations involving in human rights activities.

The following are the latest unlawful actions by the police against some particular groups of Achehnese civilians:

a. On 2 January 2000, brigadier mobile police ransacked and pillaged the headquarters of students organisation in Banda Aceh, arresting dozens and seizing and destroying all equipment they could find in the office. Those arrested were later on released after being interrogated.

b. On 3 January 2000, dozens of students from organization SMUR (Student Solidarity for Achehnese People), who were commemorating the first anniversary of the Pusong Tragedy in Banda Aceh, were harassed, intimidated and beaten by the police. In the Pusong Tragedy in North Acheh last year, 34 unarmed villagers were brutally massacred and dozens others injured by Indonesian soldiers. 

c. On 4 January 2000, the Indonesian police in Sigli town, Pidie district, arbitrarily arrested two prominent lawyers: Syarifuddin Ganie SH and Nazaruddin SH. Both are actively involved in advocating human rights and having helped defend political activists of GAM in courts.

With these latest examples of police and military brutalities, it is obvious that NGOs, human rights groups, students etc. are no longer safe from arbitrary arrests, harassment and beatings. And this also clearly shows that the military is trying to deter human rights activists from investigating and reporting the on going violations of human rights in Acheh.

GAM headquarters in Europe strongly and unreservedly condemns the arbitrary arrests of the two lawyers and students whose activities are merely advocating human rights issues and respectively struggling for a peaceful solution to the unending conflict in Acheh.

At issue in Acheh is the inalienable rights of self-determination of the Achehnese people. Acheh was an internationally recognised sovereign state for hundreds of years before the Dutch invaded it in 1873. But after World War Two, Acheh was forced to become part of a newly fabricated Indonesia. By international law and the UN body of principles Acheh should have been restored to independence again similar to that of Holland after German occupation.

Free Acheh Movement in Europe

Note: this statement distributed by Syahbuddin Abdurrauf [], senior members of Free Acheh Movement.

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Last modified: May 02, 2000