On or about May 11, 2003, Mr. Abdussalam Muhamad Deli, a 23 year-old volunteer with PB-HAM East Aceh (Pos Bantuan Hukum dan HAM, Human Rights and Legal Aid Post), disappeared after he was abducted from the bus on which he was traveling between Central Langsa and his family’s village. Mr. Deli was forced into a “Kijang” car by unknown men in civilian clothing and taken in the direction of Langsa. Members of PB-HAM East Aceh who have inquired about Mr. Deli’s whereabouts have been unable to locate him. LRWC assumes that the abduction is related to Mr. Deli’s activities as a human rights advocate in East Aceh.
On the same day, Mr. Raja Ismail, a 50 year-old volunteer with PB-HAM East Aceh is reported to have been abducted outside Langsa. His body was found on May 13, 2003 in the Titi Kembar River in Langsa Lama village, East Aceh District. Mr. Ismail’s body had knife wounds and bruises and showed signs of strangulation. As with Mr. Deli, LRWC assumes that Mr. Ismail was abducted and murdered due to his work with PB-HAM East Aceh.
Human rights violations, including unlawful killings and torture have been carried out in the context of operations by the Indonesian security forces against the Free Aceh Movement in the Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province. Human rights defenders are among those who have been targeted by the security forces.
In March 2001 Sufrin Sulaiman, a member of the PB-HAM post in South Aceh, was extrajudicially executed.
On May 20, 2003, around 1000 civilian militia members threatened staff at the headquarters of Komnas HAM (Indonesian National Commission On Human Rights) with violence if they continued to investigate the 1965 massacre and torture of unarmed civilians and political opponents of the Suharto government.
On May 26th and May 27th, members of Pemuda Panca Marga (PPM), a uniformed group described as pro government, attacked offices of KONTRAS (Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence) and its founder, Mr. Munir, for KONTRAS’ criticism of the government’s policies with respect to the Aceh problem. During the incidents of May 20, 26 and 27 police, although present, were either unable or unwilling to protect the rights of the affected members and staff of Komnas HAM and KONTRAS.
LRWC letter written July 5th 2003 by Monique Pongracic-Speier of LRWC.