Rights groups slam US-Indonesia ties

Rights groups slam US-Indonesia ties

The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 July 2010

 

Human rights groups reacted angrily on Friday to the US military's resumption of ties with Indonesian special forces accused of ongoing human rights violations in the young democracy.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates announced on Thursday in Jakarta that the United States would resume ties with Kopassus, an elite unit said to have been responsible for atrocities and mass repression under the late dictator Suharto.

Local rights group the West Papua Advocacy Team said that Kopassus soldiers "continue to repress peaceful protest... routinely intimidate, threaten and accost Papuans who non-violently resist denial of fundamental rights".