Concern that the Bali bombing may re-activate Suharto era repression
The Indonesia Human Rights Committee believes that the new anti-terrorism decree in Indonesia contains draconian powers
that are ripe for abuse. This decree will be of dubious use in catching terrorists, but will strike a blow against the
fragile democratic reforms, and embolden the unaccountable security forces. The new decree gives the authorities the
power to detain detain people for 3 days on unsubtantiated allegations, and also for a judge to hold suspects for
further interrogation without charge for up to six months.
"In Indonesia supporters of democratic reform fear that the new powers will see a return to practices under Suharto era
when critics were arbitrarily arrested on charges of subversion, or 'spreading hate' against the government. Word is
that the security forces have already drawn up a list of people to arrest."
" Human rights activists fear that new decree will be a shield to enable the security forces and the government to
attack opponents - be they student activists in Jakarta or independence supporters in Aceh."
"Suharto has gone but the powerful military that bolstered his destructive regime remains. Terrorism against the people
has been ongoing in West Papua, Maluku and Aceh. You only have to look at the farcical outcome of the human rights
tribunal for East Timor (no military officer deemed responsible) to see the military in Indonesia still operates with
"Everyone wants to see the bombers brought to account and an end to terrorist attacks. But an indisciminate crackdown
would be totally counterproductive. Repression will lead to renewed instability and create a fertile ground for the
growth of extremist groups."
" New Zealand can help to bring the bombers to account by offering police and logistic support. But we should oppose the
counterproductive and draconian features of this new decree."