Over 200 political prisoners, many of them prisoners of conscience, were held. At least 20 prisoners of conscience were sentenced during the year. Hundreds of people were arrested and held briefly without charge or trial. Torture of detainees, including juveniles, was common, in some cases resulting in death. At least five people "disappeared" in East Timor. Dozens of people were extrajudicially executed. Previous cases of "disappearances" and extrajudicial executions remained unresolved. At least 26 people remained on death row and three people were executed.

Restrictions on civil liberties and harassment of alleged government critics and human rights activists continued. At least 26 seminars and meetings held by groups critical of the government were broken up by the police during the year. In May the performance of a play on labour rights was banned because it would allegedly have created social unrest. In August the government announced that it would lift restrictions on public gatherings but restrictions on political meetings remained at the end of the year.

In May an Administrative Court ruled that the June 1994 banning of a popular current affairs magazine had been unlawful. The government appealed unsuccessfully against the decision.

The government faced continued armed and peaceful opposition from groups seeking independence for Aceh, East Timor and Irian Jaya. Access by international and domestic organizations to East Timor and parts of Indonesia continued to be restricted, preventing effective monitoring of the human rights situation. In March the Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights made a statement accepted by the member states of the Commission, which reiterated concern about the human rights situation in East Timor and urged the Indonesian Government to investigate the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in Dili. In December the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Indonesia and East Timor; his report was expected in early 1996. The government failed to implement the recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in his December 1994 report regarding the need to investigate past extrajudicial executions fully and impartially and to prevent further political killings by the security forces.

The government-backed Komnas ham, National Human Rights Commission, said in a three-page press statement in March that it had found evidence of extrajudicial executions in East Timor in January. In September the Commission announced that there had been killings, arbitrary arrests, torture and "disappearances" in Irian Jaya. Following these two inquiries by the Commission, military investigations and courts-martial were conducted, but the government ignored the Commission's findings, either partially or completely, in many cases.

Hundreds of thousands of alleged former members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) remained subject to heavy restrictions on their freedom of movement and other civil rights despite the announcement by the government in August that it would remove a code from the identity cards of former prisoners.

At least 20 peaceful human rights and political activists were sentenced to prison terms after unfair trials during the year, including at least one person trying to disseminate human rights information. Others, including human rights defenders, were subjected to short-term arbitrary detention. A member of parliament, Sri Bintang Pamungkas, was tried in November. The prosecution alleged that he had insulted the government in a seminar discussion in Germany in April. The outcome of his trial was not known by the end of the year. In September, two members of an independent journalists' organization and an office worker were found guilty of "insulting the government" and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 20 to 32 months for their role in disseminating an unlicensed publication. In November the sentences on the two journalists were increased by four months. They were prisoners of conscience. Also in September, Tri Agus Susanto, a human rights activist, was found guilty of "insulting the President" and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. He was a prisoner of conscience.

In May Muchtar Pakpahan, an independent union leader, was released from jail in Medan pending an appeal to the Supreme Court against his conviction for "incitement" (see Amnesty International Report 1995). In October he won his appeal and was acquitted. Other labour activists remained at risk of imprisonment. Dita Indah Sari, leader of an independent trade union, and six others were facing charges for their role in what appeared to be a non-violent labour demonstration in July.

At least 35 East Timorese prisoners of conscience were serving sentences of up to life imprisonment. At least 17 were tried and sentenced during the year, including Jose Antonio Neves, who was sentenced to four years' imprisonment in February for allegedly attempting to seek international support for East Timorese independence and "disseminating feelings of hostility towards the government". Sixteen youths and students were also sentenced to prison terms after unfair trials because of their role in a peaceful demonstration in January. They were prisoners of conscience. Many of this group were not represented by independent lawyers. Several defendants were known to have been threatened by the authorities to make them dismiss independent lawyers. Information about trial dates was withheld from defendants and there was concern that statements from the defendants might have been extracted under torture.

Hundreds of suspected political activists from East Timor were subjected to short-term detention and harassment. Up to 200 were believed to have been arrested following riots throughout East Timor in September and October. Most were released shortly afterwards but dozens were believed to remain in detention and to be facing trial.

Around 150 political prisoners, many of them prisoners of conscience, continued to serve sentences of up to life imprisonment, imposed after unfair trials, for alleged links with armed secessionist movements in East Timor, Irian Jaya and Aceh, and with Islamic activism. In January, five people were tried and sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 20 years for their alleged role in an armed uprising in Aceh. At least two of the five were convicted of subversion.

Three prisoners, Omar Dhani, Dr Subandrio and Sugeng Sutarto, held since the 1960s after unfair trials for their alleged involvement in a 1965 coup attempt, were released in August. At least 13 other prisoners, including five on death row, remained in detention for their alleged role in the coup attempt.

There were numerous reports of torture. In January a woman and two men from Jakarta were allegedly tortured in military detention after being detained with seven others while travelling to central Jakarta to demonstrate against the demolition of their homes. One of them stated that they were slapped and kicked and that their skin had been smeared with ointment to make the pain more intense. They were allegedly subjected to electric shocks resulting in burn marks on their thighs, arms and backs. Lawyers acting for the three detainees complained to the authorities, but the allegations were not known to have been investigated by the end of the year.

In East Timor, torture of political detainees continued to be routine. In September a young man named Tito was tortured in both police and military custody, including in a military hospital, after being arrested for his alleged role in riots. When arrested, Tito was beaten with an iron bar and fists. Soldiers then kicked him in the chest and stood on his throat. As a result, Tito vomited blood and had a swollen hand, lacerations on his face and bruising around both eyes.

Torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects were also commonplace and sometimes resulted in death. Edy Sartono, a 14-year-old boy, was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused, after being detained by police on a rape charge. In October a woman named Yuliani was found dead in a police cell in East Jakarta after being arrested on a criminal charge. Police claimed that she died as a result of injuries sustained when she banged her head repeatedly against the wall. An investigation was launched into her death but the results were not known by the end of the year.

In August new information came to light about the "disappearance" of four men arrested in Irian Jaya in October 1994 for alleged links with an armed secessionist movement. The men were last seen by relatives in military custody in November 1994. Their whereabouts remained unknown, despite inquiries by both the National Human Rights Commission and the military. In January, five men "disappeared" after being arrested by the military in Dili, East Timor. In February East Timor's police chief announced an investigation into their whereabouts, but their fate remained unknown at the end of the year.

Extrajudicial executions of political and criminal suspects continued to be reported in both Indonesia and East Timor. In May, 11 people, including women and children, were extrajudicially executed by the military in the village of Hoea in Irian Jaya. The security forces were pursuing members of an armed secessionist movement, and had committed other human rights violations since June 1994 around the pt Freeport Indonesia Mine in Tembagapura, Irian Jaya. Both the National Human Rights Commission and the military conducted an inquiry into the incident, and by the end of the year, four low-ranking soldiers were reported to be in military detention awaiting trial for their alleged role in the killings.

In January, six men were extrajudicially executed by the military in Liquiza, East Timor. The army originally claimed that the victims were armed guerrillas killed during fighting, but an inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission revealed that they were civilians unlawfully killed by the military because of alleged connections with the East Timorese resistance movement. Two soldiers were sentenced to prison terms of four and four and a half years for the killings.

Several criminal suspects were killed by police in suspicious circumstances. Some victims were shot while allegedly trying to steal police weapons and others were shot as they pointed out hiding places of alleged accomplices. In September police in Banda Aceh shot and killed a man named Ahai, apparently because he and his companion were not wearing motor-cycle helmets. There was no evidence to suggest that Ahai and his companion presented any threat to the police. In March Edy Pruwanto was shot dead by police after being arrested in connection with the murder of a policeman. Edy Pruwanto's wife withdrew legal action against the police, stating that she had been promised by the police that action would be taken against the officer responsible.

The killing of four peaceful demonstrators by the military on the island of Madura in September 1993 remained unresolved (see Amnesty International Report 1994). The role of the military in the May 1993 killing of the labour activist, Marsinah, also remained unresolved (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1995). Eight civilians accused of her murder were acquitted in May by the Supreme Court. By the end of the year, the authorities had not provided any new information about the fate of the estimated 270 people killed and 200 others thought to have "disappeared" during and after the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor, despite being urged to do so by the UN Commission on Human Rights. No official investigations had been conducted into the extrajudicial executions of at least 2,000 civilians in Aceh between 1989 and early 1993.

At least 26 people were believed to remain under sentence of death. Three people were executed during the year, including 62-year-old Kacong Laranu who had spent over eight years on death row. Others remained at imminent risk of execution after their appeals for presidential clemency were turned down, including a family of three convicted of murder in 1989.

Amnesty International repeatedly appealed for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, for the review of the cases of long-term political prisoners, and for urgent steps to be taken to stop torture, extrajudicial executions and the use of the death penalty. In January it published Indonesia and East Timor: Political prisoners and the "Rule of Law"; in July, East Timor: Twenty years of violations; and in September, Indonesia: Irian Jaya – National Human Rights Commission confirms violations. In December Amnesty International published a report on human rights violations against women in Indonesia and East Timor.

In an oral statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights Amnesty International included reference to its concerns in both Indonesia and East Timor. In an oral statement to the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, Amnesty International described its concerns about extrajudicial executions, torture and other human rights violations in East Timor.

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