Leahy Reaction to the Obama Administration's Decision to Resume Engagement With the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus)

Leahy Reaction to the Obama Administration's Decision to Resume Engagement With the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus)
PRNewswire / USNewswire, 22 July 2010


WASHINGTON - Following are the comments of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations, and author of the 'Leahy Law' on U.S. overseas military cooperation and violations of human rights:

"Kopassus has a long history of abuses and remains unrepentant, essentially unreformed, and unaccountable. I deeply regret that before starting down the road of reengagement, our country did not obtain and Kopassus did not accept the necessary reforms we have long sought. But a conditional toe in the water is wiser at this stage than diving in. The United States and Indonesia share important interests, and I have sought a way forward that is consistent with our interests and our values. I hope that will become possible.

"It is notable that this is a small step and Secretary Gates made clear that future cooperation, to be consistent with U.S. law, hinges on future reforms. As far as I am concerned, that includes suspending any Kopassus officers who have been credibly linked to abuses, and pledging to cooperate in prosecutions of past and future crimes."

SOURCE Office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy