Target:
President of the United States
Region:
United States of America
Website:
www.etan.org

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) is opposed to U.S. training of Indonesia's notorious Special Forces (Kopassus). More than any other unit in the Indonesian military, Kopassus stands accused of the most egregious human rights violations.Journalist Allan Nairn has recently exposed Kopassus involvement in political murders in Aceh in 2009. Tell the Obama administration not to train Kopassus.

The history of Kopassus human rights violations, its criminality and its unaccountability before Indonesian courts extends back decades and includes human rights and other crimes in East Timor, Aceh, West Papua and elsewhere. The crimes of Kopassus are not only in the past. A Human Rights Watch report published last spring details ongoing Kopassus human right violations in West Papua.

In 2008, the Bush administration proposed to restart U.S. training of Kopassus. the State Department legal counsel reportedly ruled that the ban on training of military units with a history of involvement in human rights violations, known as the Leahy law, applies to Kopassus as a whole. This ruling should stand.

See the letter organized by ETAN and signed by more than 50 U.S. organizations - including School of Americas Watch, Pax Christi, Peace Action - opposing training for Kopassus
http://www.etan.org/news/2009/07kopassus.htm.

For updates see ETAN's website - http://www.etan.org


We the undersigned urge the U.S. government to strictly prohibit any U.S. cooperation with or assistance to the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus).

This force, more than any other in the Indonesian military, stands accused by the Indonesian people of some of the most egregious human rights violations. U.S. law prohibits the training of military units with a history of involvement in human rights violations.

This provision has been long been interpreted as narrowly as possible. However, in 2008, the State Department ruled that the ban, known as the Leahy law, applies to Kopassus as a whole. We believe that this ruling should apply and the U.S. must continue to refuse to train Kopassus.

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