21 Jul 2005

Rights group praises US senate move to maintain restrictions on Indonesian military

1:13 pm on 21 July 2005

A human rights group says the move by the US Senate to maintain restrictions on US military assistance for Indonesia will help keep its army accountable in Papua province.

The senate has passed its version of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which would place conditions on foreign military finance and the export of weapons.

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network spokesman John Miller says the senate version is a positive step... after what he calls the "setback" of last month's version, passed by the House of Representatives lifting all restrictions.

"An additional provision is a reporting requirement where the state department has to report on current troop deployments in Papua, the current state of human rights in Papua, among other things. And we think that'll be important information that'll help make the case for the continued need to end those human rights violations ."

John Miller says representatives of the House and Senate will soon meet to work out a final version of the Bill for approval by Congress.