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Petition against the deliverance of corvettes to Indonesia
To: The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dr. B.R. Bot
The Minister of Foreign Trade, Mrs. Ir. C.E.G. van Gennip
At this moment the Dutch government is considering the export of corvettes to Indonesia. The Dutch arms export policy is based on the Code of Conduct for Arms Exports of the European Union. Besides this code the Netherlands has also its own responsibility while assessing the effects of its arms exports (operative provision 2). In the EU Code of Conduct it is stated not to issue an export licence if there is a clear risk exists that the proposed export might be used for internal repression (crit. 2.a.), or when exports would provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the country of final destination (crit. 3).
The human rights situation in Indonesia continues to be a reason of concern. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented extra juridical executions, ‘disappearances’, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and excessive violence by the police and armed forces. Human Rights organisations are not permitted to enter the region, which hampers the investigations in human rights violations. Indonesia has ended the peace process on Aceh and deployed the armed forces in Aceh. This military intervention causes many victims. Furthermore, the acquisition of the expensive corvettes is at the cost of expenditures on social development in Indonesia.
In the past the weapon technology delivered by the Netherlands has been used during the operations in Aceh. The use of the naval vessels the Kri Lemadang and Kri Todak in May 2003 has been confirmed by the Dutch government.
An other naval vessel, the Kri Hadjar Dewantara is used for the transport of troops. This ship is fully comparable with the vessels that are now to be delivered. This raises concern, because the new vessels may be used for the same tasks. Moreover this policy is inconsistent, because the Dutch government stated in November 2003 that the potential use of airplanes for transport duties was seen as reason not to permit an export license for aircraft parts.
For these reasons the deliverance of corvettes to Indonesia is in violation with the code of conduct on conventional arms exports of the European Union.
Undersigned organisations call upon the Dutch government:
- Not to permit an export license for corvettes to Indonesia
- To advocate a stringent arms export policy of the member states towards Indonesia within the European Union as laid down in the Code of Conduct on conventional arms exports.
- To commit itself to upholding humanitarian law and international human rights standards in Aceh, access of international (human rights) observers and the resumption of the peace process on Aceh.
Acech Center, Pennsylvania, USA
Aceh Peace Alliance
Burgerforum voor Democratie, Arnhem Branch, the Netherlands
Campagne tegen Wapenhandel, Amsterdam/Groningen, the Netherlands
St. DOCA, Arnhem, the Netherlands
The European Centre for Conflict Prevention (ECCP), Utrecht, the Netherlands
Evert Vermeer Stichting, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
IKV, Den Haag, Amsterdam
Indonesia House, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Pax Christi, Utrecht, the Netherlands
SP (Socialistische Partij), the Netherlands