26 Jun 2003

Human Rights group seeks arms sales ban against Indonesia

10:26 am on 26 June 2003

The British based Indonesian Human Rights group, Tapol has launched a campaign demanding an international embargo against selling arms to Indonesia.

Tapol's Carmel Budiardjo says up to 90 human rights and anti war groups are appealing to Germany, France, the United States and United Kingdom to stop selling arms to Indonesia.

Indopnesia is in the middle of its biggest offensive to crush the Free Aceh movement and there is a strong military buildup against the OPM or Free Papua movement.

She says the Indonesian defence force is its military equipment against civilians to regain the political role it once had during the Suharto era.

"There has been a distinct move by the Indonesian armed forces to regain a strong and powerful political role in Indonesia. So this embargo is really to highlight the danger the Indonesian armed forces now represent to the whole principle of democracy and human rights."

Carmel Budiardjo says Indonesia's military equipment includes British Scorpion tanks and Hawk jets, US F-16 fighter planes, German warships and armoured vehicles from France and Germany.