Protest against the expelling of nine East Timorese asylum seekers from the German Embassy ground in Jakarta

17. April 1996

Joint Press Release of Watch Indonesia! and IMBAS
Moral bankrupt of the German Federal Government’s so-called human rights policy.

botschaftThe German Embassy in Jakarta allowed its own Indonesian staffed security personal to expell a group of nine East Timorese from the embassy ground. The nine East Timorese had entered the embassy ground at 2.00 AM on tuesday night and asked for asylum. According to eyewitnesses’ reports the refugees were directly handed over to the Indonesian military, and subsequently were beaten and kicked by the military.

Indonesia annexed East Timor 20 years ago violating international law. Although the international community never recognised the annexion, and despite the continous violations of human rights and international law, the international community failed to demonstrate its political will to make pressure on Indonesia to find a just solution. It’s because of this missing pressure that the Indonesian government may undisturbedly continue its political course.

We sharply condemn the expelling of the East Timorese. Considering the human rights situation in Indonesia and East Timor such inhumane behavior is scandalous and is not at all a constructive step forward towards a political solution of the East Timor conflict. We value the expelling as just another concession of the German government to Indonesia’s technocratic military regime. Our government’s human rights policy is morally bankrupt.

Germany in particular should feel obliged to help people who are forced by circumstances to search refuge in foreign embassies. Seven years ago citizens of former East Germany fled into the West German Embassies in Budapest and Praha. In that situation it was a mere self-evidence to use all diplomatic means to beware these refugees from falling back into a situation where – for good reasons – they just had fled from. At that time the squattering of West German embassies was not only an impressive demonstration that let the world know the real situation in East Germany, but it was also the beginning of the collapse of communism in East Europe.

We urge the German government to immediately ask the Indonesian government to unconditionally release the detained East Timorese, to ask for their safety and physical uninjuredness.

We also urge the German government:

  • to actively support the right to self determination of the East Timorese people and to support their demand for a referendum in international fora and against the Indonesian government,
  • to influence the Indonesian government to ameliorate the human right situation in East Timor, so that the people there are no longer forced to flee into foreign embassies,
  • not to expell East Timorese people who ask for refuge in the compound of the embassy, but to do everything possible to help these people and to support them in their struggle as Germany in particular is obliged to do according to its democratic principles.<>
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