Protests against Parliamentary Elections in Aceh
Aceh Support Group
Wellington Activists from the Aceh Support Group held banners outside the Indonesian Embassy and in the surrounding
area in solidarity with the people of Aceh.
Aceh has been hit by harsh martial law imposed by the Indonesian army (TNI) in an effort to crush the rebel Free Aceh
Movement (GAM). The brutality of the last 10 months is part of a pattern of repression and violence against the Acehnese
by the Indonesian army for decades.
Parliamentary elections took place yesterday throughout Indonesia. Yet, despite calls to postpone the elections in Aceh
until martial law is ended the elections went ahead there.
“The elections in Aceh are unfair and undemocratic”, said Bakhtiar, a New Zealand Acehnese activist.
There is a very real fear that if Acehnese do not vote in the election they will be branded GAM sympathisers and
punished by the army, this is not surprising considering the rampant abuse civilians have suffered under martial law.
Also, in Aceh there was a restricted amount of parties an individual.