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
- Amnesty: US-Backed Syrian Kurds Committing War Crimes - October 12th, 2015
- NATO Vows Military Support if Turkey Goes to War with Russia - October 12th, 2015
- Major Taliban Sweep Continues as Forces Near Key Afghan City of Ghazni - October 12th, 2015
- US Airdrops Weapons, Ammunition to North Syrian Rebels - October 12th, 2015
- Syrian al-Qaeda Leader Urges Escalated Attacks on Alawites - October 12th, 2015