Gates Says Group 'Sufficiently Committed to Human Rights'
12 years after the ban was put in place, the Obama Administration has announced that it is ending the prohibition on ties wih Indonesia’s notorious special forces,known as the Kopassus.
The Kopassus faced enormous international scrutiny over the brutality in East Timor, and other reports exist of human rights violations in West Papua and Jakarta. The Indonesian military in general and the special forces in particular are exempt from facing potential charges in civilian courts.
Despite this, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insists that the Kopassus are “sufficiently committed to human rights” to allow the US military to restore direct ties with the group.
Human Rights Watch’s Asian Advocacy Director Sophie Richardson criticized the move, saying the special forces still hadn’t demonstrated “a genuine commitment to accountability.” Though the Obama Administration obtained a pledge that the special forces would “cooperate” with civilian investigations of them, in practice the pledge is seen as largely meaningless, as the civilian government in Indonesia rarely probes the military for abuses.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Answer to Taliban Victories in Afghanistan: Blame Russia - February 12th, 2016
- Red Cross Rejects Saudi Demand to Withdraw From Northern Yemen - February 12th, 2016
- Iraq PM: ISIS Will Be Wiped Out By Year's End - February 12th, 2016
- After Ceasefire Deal, Rebels Report New Shipments of Missiles - February 12th, 2016
- Assad Welcomes Peace Talks, Says Goal Is to Retake Syria - February 12th, 2016