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  • Papua Post 12:52 pm on June 6, 2010 Permalink | Balas
    Tags: State Terrorism   

    ATTACK ON AID SHIP BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY 31 May 2010 

    Like thousands of people around the world, I too have been outraged at the criminal attack by the Israeli military on a flotilla aid ships taking humanitarian supplies to Gaza where the people are in dire need.

    In my view, both the attack and the blockade of Gaza are crimes against human rights.

    Gaza’s water system is on the verge of collapse; the available drinking water is polluted. So little food is allowed in that children’s growth is being stunted.

    Yesterday, I sent the letter below to Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney General criticising the weak Australian response to this outrage.

    Western democracies & the UN need to take a much stronger stance against the Zionist regime, which has always, since its inception, had a bellicose attitude to its neighbours in the ME.

    Before It was established, Zionist terrorist gangs (Stern, Irgun and Haganah) carried out numerous terrorist actions against Palestinians to drive them from their homes and their lands.

    I would urge all who read this website to sign petitions from the Jewish Voice for Peace & the other activist websites to bring as much pressure to bear as possible on Israel’s leaders.

    En solidaridad

    Andy

    —– Original Message —–

    From: andyalcock

    To: R.McClelland.MP@aph.gov.au ; stephen.smith@aph.gov.au

    Cc: info@canberra.mfa.gov.il

    Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 12:14 PM

    Subject: RE: ATTACK ON AID SHIP BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY

    Mr Stephen Smith

    Minister for Foreign Affairs

    &

    Mr R Mc Clelland

    Attorney General

    Australian Government

    Dear Sirs

    RE: ATTACK ON AID SHIP BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY

    As an Australian citizen, who has spent much of his life working for human rights, I am writing to express my concern at the very inadequate response that Australia has made to Israel’s outrageous attack on an aid ship travelling to Gaza on 31 May 2010.

    It seems that up to 20 people have been killed by the Israeli army on a civilian ship that was carrying sorely needed humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The vessel was in international waters and had 700 civilians supporting Palestinian human rights. This surely has to be viewed as a crime against humanity and should be identified as such.

    Even if some militants on board attacked Israeli personnel first, as Israel claims, the reaction was totally over the top. Witnesses on board, however, claim that the Israeli soldiers fired first.

    To put this event in perspective, I think we should compare this aid mission to Gaza with another peace mission that occurred in 1992 and compare the results. What resulted from that is in stark contrast to the behaviour of the Israeli military.

    In March 1992, I participated in an international protest against Indonesia following the 1991 massacre of 270 East Timorese civilians at the Santa Cruz Cemetry, DIli by the Indonesian military. The name of the protest was “Missao paz em Timor” (Timor Peace Mission) and it was organised by Portuguese students and academics. An international group of 120 people from 21 countries boarded the Lusitania Expresso in Darwin with the intention of laying a wreath at the Santa Cruz cemetery in memory of those who died during the massacre.

    The aim of the trip was to alert the world to the genocide and the human rights abuses that were being committed against the people of East Timor by the brutal Indonesian military.

    Indonesian military spokespersons announced beforehand that we would be stopped from entering Indonesian waters, be stopped from landing in Dili, be refused permission to go to the Santa Cruz Cemetry and be blown out of the water. However, although the Lusitania Expresso was followed by a flotilla of Indonesian naval ships for two days, and at one stage, the Indonesian admiral threatened to take aggressive action, this did not happen.

    Most people would consider that the record of the Indonesian military is far worse than that of the Israeli military. It has committed genocide in Indonesia, West Papua, East Timor and Acheh.

    However, the Israeli military has also had a very tarnished record – forcing Palestinians off their lands, non judicial killings, the establishment of settlements on Palestinian lands, illegal invasions of Lebanon, bulldozing of Palestinian houses etc . Mainly due to the actions of the Israeli army. Israel now occupies about 80% of the territory that rightly belongs to Palestine.

    Surely, given this latest outrage, it is now time that countries claiming to be democratic take much firmer action against Israel.

    Australia should be moving in the UN that international sanctions should be taken against Israel until it:

    • allows there to be a full and independent UN investigation of the attack on the aid flotilla   and that those responsible for the murders of civilians are punished
    • ceases allowing Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands
    • ceases the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier wall and

    to demolish the parts already constructed as it is being used to annexe Palestinian land

    • stops its inhumane blockade of Gaza
    • removes its checkpoints and blockades located on Palestinian lands which constrain the human rights of Palestinians to free movement for work, to meet friends and relatives, attend medical and other necessary appointments

    The sanctions should include:

    • removal of Israeli ambassadors
    • cessation of all military cooperation with Israel
    • cessation of trade

    It should be noted that similar sanctions were taken against the apartheid regime in South Africa, which ironically, was supported by Israel despite the fact that its early leaders were pro Nazi.

    Just as Australian leaders eventually stopped their apologetic policy to the former Indonesian dictatorship on the issue of East Timor, now is the time to take such action against the state of Israel.

    Yours sincerely

    Andrew (Andy) Alcock

     
  • Papua Post 11:42 pm on February 1, 2008 Permalink | Balas
    Tags: , , State Terrorism   

    Human Rights Watch: Indonesia: Suharto’s Death a Chance for Victims to Find Justice Government Should Investigate Crimes of Former Dictator’s Regime 

    (New York, January 27, 2008) – The death of former president Suharto at age 86 provides an opportunity to commemorate the many victims of his oppressive regime, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch said the Indonesian government should make a serious commitment to hold accountable the perpetrators of human rights abuses during his rule. Suharto presided over more than three decades of military dictatorship andsystematic human rights abuses, including media censorship, tight restrictions on freedom of association and assembly, a highly  politicized and controlled judiciary, widespread torture, attacks on the rights of minorities, massacres of alleged communists, and numerous war crimes committed in East Timor, Aceh, Papua and the Moluccan islands. He also presided over a famously corrupt regime in which he, his family, and his cronies amassed billions of dollars in illegal wealth – funds which could
    have addressed Indonesia’s widespread poverty and social problems.

    “Suharto has gotten away with murder – another dictator who’s lived out his life in luxury and escaped justice,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “But many of Suharto’s cronies are still around, so the Indonesian government should take the chance to put his many partners in human rights abuse on trial.”

    To date, there has been virtually no legal accounting for the widespread abuses committed during Suharto’s rule, or for the violence instigated by pro-Suharto forces in a failed attempt to stave off his 1998 fall from power. Suharto himself never faced trial for human rights abuses. The former dictator spent the last years of his life living in luxury. On account of Suharto’s alleged poor health, in May 2006, prosecutors dropped one case that alleged that he had stolen $600 million from the state’s coffers. “Indonesia’s attorney general never issued an indictment against him for human rights violations,” said Adams. “While there has been a great deal of political reform, repeated failures to hold perpetrators of serious human rights crimes to account have meant that Indonesia still has not come to terms with the worst of Suharto’s legacy.”

    Human Rights Watch said that the lack of justice for Suharto’s crimes is directly linked to the continuing impunity enjoyed by Indonesia’s security forces, despite many political reforms and promises to address past abuses. Since 1998, the legal and institutional bases of Suharto’s political repression have been largely removed, and there has been great progress on freedom of association and expression.

    One important consequence of this failure is that, although the military no longer formally plays a political role (the military’s “Dwifungsi” or “dual function” ideology relied on by Suharto has been abandoned and is now discredited), the military continues to be territorially and economically entrenched. The military still is not fully answerable to the Ministry of Defense, and much-heralded reforms to end the armed forces’ involvement in business are stalled. The predictable result is conflicts of interest andabuses, as with the May 2007 killing of civilians in Pasuruan, East Java, by marines who had ousted farmers and planted commercial crops on the disputed land. Another consequence is that where there is conflict in Indonesia today, as in Papua, security forces – both military and special police units– still commit abuses and are almost never held accountable.

    “Justice is a key missing piece in Indonesia’s reform story,” said Adams. “The failure to touch Suharto shows how far Indonesia still has to go if itis to establish strong, independent prosecutors and courts, and put an end to serious security-force abuses.”

    *Background*

    Suharto’s sordid legacy dates to the army-backed massacres in 1965 that accompanied his rise to power. A failed coup against President Sukarno in September 1965 claimed the lives of six army generals, but it was the army, led by then-Major General Suharto, that emerged as the paramount power in the aftermath.

    Although the events surrounding the coup attempt remain unclear and some participants themselves described it as an internal military affair, thegovernment maintained that the Indonesian Communist Party was exclusively responsible for the coup attempt. From 1965 to 1967, Suharto presided over a bloodbath that destroyed the Indonesian Communist Party. Estimates of the number of people killed range from a quarter of a million to more than 1 million. Hundreds of thousands of citizens suspected of having leftistaffiliations, including large numbers of teachers and student activists, were imprisoned. Most of them were never tried, let alone convicted of any offense. Suharto was officially proclaimed president in March 1967.

    Under Suharto’s “New Order” regime, Indonesian society became progressively militarized, with the Indonesian armed forces playing an increasingly prominent role as a social and political force. Throughout his rule, Suharto viciously suppressed any sign of anti-government unrest or separatist ambition. Military operations, most notably in East Timor, Aceh, and Papua, were characterized by undisciplined and unaccountable troops committing widespread abuses against civilians, including extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances, beatings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and drastic limits on freedom of movement.

    In 1975, just nine days after neighboring East Timor declared its independence from Portugal, Suharto ordered Indonesian forces to invade andannex the former colony. Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor was brutal, marked by atrocities such as the Santa Cruz massacre in 1991, when at least 270 pro-independence protesters were shot or beaten to death by the military.

    “One of the enduring legacies of Suharto’s regime has been the culture that continues to block justice for victims of military abuses even today,” said Adams. “Maybe with Suharto’s passing, this legacy, too, can be brought to an end.”

    A rare attempt at accountability for Suharto-era crimes occurred in trials held in 2004 against soldiers accused of participating in the “Tanjung Priok Massacre” in Jakarta two decades earlier. Yet the trials resulted in little justice for the families of the 33 or more civilians shot by government security forces during an anti-government demonstration. Two defendants were acquitted amid reports of political interference and witness intimidation. The remaining 12 defendants had their convictions overturned by an appeals court in June 2005.

     
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