Thursday, April 05, 2007

Press Release on 'Murder at Mile 63'

Bush Officials Cover-Up Indonesian Military Role
in Murder of U.S. Citizens

Eben Kirksey
Santa Cruz, California

Andreas Harsono
Jakarta, Indonesia

NEW YORK -- Evidence of Indonesian military involvement in the deaths of two American citizens has been suppressed, according to a report released today by Joyo Indonesian News Service and Pantau Foundation. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other senior administration officials, have been misleading the U.S. Congress and the public about a 2002 assault near the gold and copper mine of Freeport McMoRan (FCX) in the remote Indonesian province of Papua. The Bush Administration sees Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, as a key ally in the Global War on Terrorism.

“It’s sad to see that U.S. terrorism policy has once again sacrificed truth and justice,” said Andreas Harsono, a journalist of the Pantau media group, who co-authored the report.

F.B.I. agents entrapped at least one innocent man, Reverend Isak Onawame, in connection with this murder. Rev. Onawame, an elderly human rights advocate, was detained by the F.B.I. in Papua and delivered to Indonesian custody where he was strip searched, deprived of sleep, and interrogated. On November 7th, 2006, an Indonesian court found Rev. Onawame guilty of supplying attackers with food, based on a false confession extracted during interrogation. Six other men, including Antonius Wamang, who has admitted to participating in the attack, were given sentences of 18 months to life in jail during the same trial.

“By all accounts Wamang’s group only had three guns,” said co-author S. Eben Kirksey, a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The report authors obtained a copy of a classified Indonesian ballistics report, which is being released to the public for the first time today. Through microscopic analysis of bullet fragments, this ballistics report concluded that a total of 13 guns were fired at the scene of the crime.

“We’re the first to publicly identify a smoking gun. In fact, we have unearthed evidence of 10 smoking guns,” continued Kirksey. “There was another group of shooters wielding enormous firepower.” Eyewitnesses, and logs of vehicle traffic through road checkpoints, place Indonesian soldiers at the scene of the crime.

Joyo Indonesian News is a New York-based mailing list on Indonesia-related stories. Pantau is a journalist training organization based in Jakarta. The full text of the report, “Murder at Mile 63” and the Indonesian ballistics report are available on-line:

East Timor Action Network
TAPOL—The Indonesian Human Rights Campaign

Pantau Foundation on the three series
Murder at Mile 63: A Trip to the Big City
Murder at Mile 63: The Ambush
Murder at Mile 63: The Cover Up

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