US names 2 Indonesians as ‘perpetrators’ of rights abuses

BenarNews staff
US names 2 Indonesians as ‘perpetrators’ of rights abuses Rescuers found people locked in a cage in the residence of Terbit Rencana Perangin-Angin, then the chief of Langkat regency, in North Sumatra, Indonesia, Jan. 24, 2022.
Photo courtesy of Migrant Care

The U.S. State Department named two Indonesians – including a candidate for the House of Representatives in next year’s election – among its international list of “perpetrators of human rights abuses” on Friday.

The list, released to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, named Hartomo, a former military officer who is seeking office in the Feb. 14 election, and Terbit Rencana Perangin-Angin, a former regent of Langkat in North Sumatra province.

Hartomo, who goes by one name, “is being designated for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely extrajudicial killing,” the State Department said.

He held the highest rank, lieutenant colonel, of a group of soldiers accused of killing Theys Eluay, chairman of the Papua Presidium Council, in November 2001, according to media reports.

Human Rights Watch reported that the soldiers were convicted in 2003, but Hartomo was later promoted to head up the nation’s military intelligence agency.

A member of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, Hartomo is seeking to represent Central Java in the legislature.

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Lt. Col. Hartomo (left), Capt. Rionardo, 1st Sgt. Asrisal and Pvt. Achmad Zulfahmi hear the indictment against them at the Surabaya Military Court in Indonesia, Jan. 3, 2003. [AFP]

Terbit Rencana “is being designated for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the forced labor of boys and men,” the news release said.

In May 2022, 10 soldiers were named as suspects in the alleged torture deaths of at least six people who had been kept in two cage-like rooms in Terbit Rencana’s house in North Sumatra province.

The iron-barred rooms were discovered four months earlier when the Corruption Eradication Agency searched the house and found 27 people inside the cells. Terbit Rencana, who was arrested at that time, said his residence housed drug addicts who were undergoing rehabilitation.

Police said 656 people had been held in the two cages since 2010.


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