116 GAM members yet to be granted amnesty

Tempo Interactive – October 11, 2005
Protest by former Aceh political prisoners (Merdeka)
Protest by former Aceh political prisoners (Merdeka)

Adi Warsidi, Jakarta – As many as 116 Free Aceh Movement (GAM) members being detained in Sumatra and Java have yet to be granted amnesty. This is despite the fact that on August 31 the government stated it would grant amnesty to all GAM members as part of the implementation of the peace agreement.

Irwandi Yusuf, GAM’s special representative in the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), said that the 116 GAM members are incarcerated in Cipinang Prison, Salemba Prison, Karawang Prison, Sukamiskin Prison, Tangerang Prison and the Nusakambangan Prison. There are also GAM members in the Tanjung Gusta Medan Prison, the Rantau Prapat Prison, the Binjai Prison and Sibolga.

“Most are in Tanjung Gusta, Medan”, said Yusuf from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh on October 10 while holding up a list of the jailed GAM members.

There are also a number of GAM members in Aceh who have yet to be granted amnesty. For example there are GAM members still being held at the Central Aceh district police headquarters, at the Blang Pidie Joint Intelligence Task Force (SGI) and the Blang Meuria SGI post in North Aceh.

According to their records, the whereabouts of as many as 104 GAM members remains unclear, with most only having their names and date of arrest recorded but not their present whereabouts. “It is not known where 11 people are being detained”, said Yusuf.

The 116 GAM members who have yet to be granted amnesty have been reported by GAM to the AMM so that immediate positive steps can be taken in the context of the Aceh peace process. Yusuf is convinced that all of these GAM members were sentenced for involvement in political cases. “There are no criminals and the like, [they were] purely detained because [they were members of] GAM”, said.

Meanwhile a staff member from the AMM’s amnesty, reintegration and human rights section, Renata Tardioli, said that they had received the information about the 116 GAM members who have yet to be granted amnesty. “Around 116 GAM [members] are still waiting to be granted amnesty”, he said in Banda Aceh.

[Translated by James Balowski.]