01 September 2011

Sajfrie Sjamsoeddin's History in Timor-Leste via Wikileaks

SJAFRIE SJAMSOEDDIN
Viewing cable 09DILI299, SJAFRIE SJAMSOEDDIN'S HISTORY IN TIMOR-LESTE

09DILI299 2009-11-06 08:30 2011-08-24 01:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Dili

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DILI 000299

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STATE FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/RSP AND CA/FO
NSC FOR J. BADER AND D. WALTON
DHS/ICE/VSU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM
PREL
CVIS
ID
TT
SUBJECT: SJAFRIE SJAMSOEDDIN'S HISTORY IN TIMOR-LESTE

REF: A. JAKARTA 1785
  
¶B. JAKARTA 1732
¶C. JAKARTA 1571

DILI 00000299  001.2 OF 003


¶1.  SUMMARY: Indonesian General Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin served in Timor-Leste on multiple occasions during the Indonesian occupation.  As commander of the Kopassus Intelligence Task Force in 1991 he was present for the November 12 Santa Cruz massacre in which many dozens of peaceful protestors were killed and dozens more remain missing.  His claim that he was rescuing Western journalists during the massacre cannot be confirmed. Sjamsoeddin served in Timor-Leste again in 1999 at the time of the August 30 popular consultation.  Multiple independent investigations declare him criminally responsible for the atrocities that occurred at that time, and put him near the top of the list of responsible parties.  END SUMMARY.

Indonesian Invasion and Early Occupation

¶2.  Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin played an active role in Indonesia's occupation of Timor-Leste from the moment of the invasion in ¶1975.  He was part of Operation Seroja and a Group Commander in Komando Pasukan Sandi Yudha, the forerunner of Kopassus, playing a role in both combat and intelligence.  He then served as Commander of a Nanggala counter-insurgency unit in 1976.  The Nanggala units were known in Timor-Leste for their brutality and ferocity.

1991 Santa Cruz Massacre

¶3. Sjamsoeddin served again in Timor-Leste from 1990 to 1992 as part of Kopassus' Intelligence Task Force (Satuan Tugas Intelijen or SGI).  Although Sjamsoeddin does not list his military affiliations on his non-immigrant visa application, as required, other sources identify him as the SGI commander in Timor-Leste during this period.

¶4. On the morning of 12 November 1991, Indonesian security forces opened fire on a thousand or more demonstrators gathered at the Santa Cruz Cemetery in Dili.  The crowd was attending a flower-laying service
for Sebastiao Gomes, a Timorese killed in a raid on the Motael Church several weeks earlier.  The Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), an independent body created and operated
with the support of the United Nations which has produced the most comprehensive documentation to date of the 1974 to 1999 period in its 2500-page Chega! report, estimates that 200 mourners were killed or remain missing.  Two Portuguese NGOs put the number of dead or missing at over 500.   A UN Special Rapporteur concluded
subsequently that the procession was a peaceful demonstration. Forensic evidence presented in court proceedings showed that a high proportion of the victims sustained bullet wounds in the back.

¶5.  Ten low-ranking members of the security personnel involved in the events of 12 November were tried and convicted before military courts in Indonesia.  Sentences ranged from eight to 18 months and all those convicted were dishonorably discharged. Other security personnel were not charged on the grounds that they were following orders of superior officers.  The convicted personnel included at least one intelligence officer.

¶6.  Multiple Western journalists were present in Dili on November 12, including Americans Allen Nairn and Amy Goodman, Australian Bob Muntz and Briton Max Stahl.  All have spoken DILI 00000299  002.2 OF 003
publicly or written about their experiences surrounding the Santa Cruz  Massacre.  None of these journalists have ever mentioned a rescue scenario like the one Sjamsoeddin claims to have been involved in. Similarly, there is no record in the CAVR archives or with the November 12 Committee, a Timorese NGO dedicated to preserving testimonial records and identifying the missing victims of the massacre, that corroborates Sjamsoeddin's version of his whereabouts on November 12.

¶7.  Several Timor-Leste experts characterize Sjamsoeddin as the key man behind the Santa Cruz massacre.  They cite testimony received from Timorese observers as well as Sjamsoeddin's position as the in-country head of Kopassus intelligence.

1999 Popular Consultation

¶8. Sjamsoeddin became Asisten Teritorial Kepala Staf Umum (Aster Kasum) for the TNI in 1998 (Territorial Assistant to the Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Sugiono).  He remained in that position throughout 1999, including during the extensive violence that surrounded the August 30 popular consultation. Multiple independent investigations identify Sjamsoeddin as a direct participant in the gross human rights violations that occurred in Timor-Leste in 1999.

¶9. The late Sergio Vieira de Mello, at the time UN Transitional Administrator in East Timor, commissioned a report on the nature and causes of the atrocities committed in 1999.  It found that widespread extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, including both mass murder and individual killings, as well as torture and violence against women, were carried out against the people of East Timor.  The report recommended 23 senior military officers for criminal investigation for crimes against humanity. It put at the top of the list the generals that "planned the formation of the militia, providing its units with arms, money, and targets."  Sjamsoeddin was third on the list, after Zacky Anwar Makarim and Adam Damiri.  The report assessed that Sjamsoeddin was "one of the key military
officers responsible for the development of the TNI strategy that led to serious crimes against humanity in East Timor."

¶10. A report commissioned by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights put Sjamsoeddin in a group of several dozen high-ranking TNI officers and senior civilian officials that planned and coordinated the
pro-integration militias and the violence surrounding the popular consultation. The report concluded that this group of planners bore criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity.  It identified Sjamsoeddin as bearing both individual and command responsibility for crimes against humanity.  Sjamsoeddin was ranked second on a list of
officials recommended for criminal investigation, behind Zacky Anwar.  The report was written by a UN officer present in Timor-Leste throughout the second half of ¶1999.  The United Nations Serious Crimes Unit investigated Sjamsoeddin but did not indict him.

¶11. Sjamsoeddin visited a Falintil base on August 27.  General Wiranto named him Chief Liaison Officer to UNAMET on August 31. He returned to Dili no later than September 1.  Contemporary reports indicate Sjamsoeddin and Zacky Anwar held an extended meeting on September 1 finalizing contingency plans in the event that the results of the popular consultation rejected special autonomy in favor of independence.

DILI 00000299  003.2 OF 003

¶12.  Eyewitness testimony puts Sjamsoeddin at the residence of Bishop Belo, a Nobel Peace Laureate, on September 6.  TNI, Brimob and militia groups attacked and burned the Bishop's residence in an effort to forcibly evict several thousand refugees from the compound.  At least one refugee was killed and more than a dozen
injured.  The eyewitness, who knew Sjamsoeddin personally, maintains that Sjamsoeddin, in civilian dress, directed the operation from the road outside the compound.

¶13. COMMENT: The near total absence of formal convictions makes assigning blame for the atrocities committed in Timor-Leste during the Indonesian occupation an interpretative matter.  The facts as described above lead us to conclude that Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin held senior positions of command responsibility in both 1991 and 1999, moments when atrocities undeniably occurred, and strongly indicate his personal culpability. END COMMENT.
KLEMM

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http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09JAKARTA1785&hl=SJAMSOEDDIN


ID
09JAKARTA1785

SUBJECT
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON VISA CASE OF

DATE
2009-10-26 11:08:00

CLASSIFICATION
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

ORIGIN
Embassy Jakarta

TEXT
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001785

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, CA/FO
CA/VO/L/C BEER
NSC FOR J.BADER, D. WALTON
DHS/ICE/VSU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CVIS KISL ID
SUBJECT: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON VISA CASE OF
PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR (SJAFRIE SJAMSOEDDIN, 30 OCT 52, IDSA)

REF: JAKARTA 01732 AND PREVIOUS

¶1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please handle accordingly.

¶2. (SBU) SUMMARY: In reftel message, Mission provided information regarding allegations of gross human rights violations against presidential advisor and Defense Secretary General Sjafrie SJAMSOEDDIN. Mission is providing additional information on the allegations brought against SJAMSOEDDIN that may assist the Department in making a determination on his visa eligibility. The GOI remains keenly interested in having a determination made. Our review of the information available leads us to the conclusion that there is no direct evidence he ordered or took part in the atrocities in East Timor or Jakarta to which he is alleged to have been linked. Lacking any direct evidence, our recommendation is that SJAMSOEDDIN should be eligible for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa. END SUMMARY


CASE OF PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR

¶3. (SBU) As reported reftel, Sjafrie SJAMSOEDDIN, DPOB October 30, 1952, Indonesia, is the subject of a security advisory opinion due to various allegations against him related to events in East Timor and Jakarta in the 1990s. Jakarta DATT has separately interviewed SJAMSOEDDIN at length regarding the allegations (septel).

1991 and 1999 EAST TIMOR ALLEGATIONS

¶4. (SBU) The bulk of the allegations against SJAMSOEDDIN concern East Timor. Human rights observers have accused SJAMSOEDDIN of involvement in the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre, in which more than 55 people were killed in and around the Santa Cruz Cemetery in East Timor. According to SJAMSOEDDIN's own account, he was in Dili at the time but not involved in the massacre. SJAMSOEDDIN points out that his unit was replaced before the incident occurred. SJAMSOEDDIN has further stated that, on the day of the massacre, he rescued American and Australian journalists from pro-Indonesia militia members. The accounts of an officer serving at Mission at that time appear to lend credence to SJAMSOEDDIN's assertion that he assisted foreign nationals escape the violence. There is no direct evidence in any case tying him to the Santa Cruz killings.

¶5. (SBU) Human rights observers have accused SJAMSOEDDIN of having taken no action to stop Indonesian forces from killing civilians in Dili in 1999, while serving as Assistant for Territorial Affairs to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (ASTER). Mission is aware of information indicating that SJAMSOEDDIN may have been in contact with militia leaders in East Timor at that time. However, Mission's investigations have turned up no specific evidence of his direct involvement in 1999 East Timor human rights violations. SJAMSOEDDIN has stated to Mission that he explained to the Indonesian Investigative Commission into Human Rights Violations in East Timor/National Commission on Human Rights in East Timor the events of September 1999, including the violence at the home of Bishop Francisco Belo. The Commission absolved him of any wrongdoing.

¶6. (SBU) As noted reftel, at the request of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) James Dunn investigated allegations of SJAMSOEDDIN having committed gross human rights violations and concluded he was implicated. According to an Australian Associated Press report dated April 20, 2001, UNTAET refused to release Dunn's report. Moreover, UN chief Prosecutor Mohamed Othman criticized the content, conclusions and structure of the report. Othman stated, "It is his (Dunn's) own report and reflects his own views," and added that the report lacked hard and original evidence. Othman emphasized that Dunn had no official status with the United Nations and was only engaged as a consultant to UNTAET. Othman continued, "making the report public has diminished its effectiveness as a legal document as it can now be challenged for prejudicing our investigation." John Martinkus's authoritative account of

JAKARTA 00001785 002 OF 002


human rights violations East Timor in 1997-2000, "A Dirty Little War," makes no mention of SJAMSOEDDIN.

¶7. (SBU) The report of the Indonesia/Timor-Leste Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF) on East Timor makes no mention of Sjafrie SJAMSOEDDIN having committed any human rights violations while posted in Dili. Moreover, the UN Serious Crimes Unit in Dili did not investigate him. Amcit David Cohen (please protect), a member of the CTF, told Poloff that SJAMSOEDDIN was not someone who came up during the CTF's investigative process. Cohen is the Director of UC Berkeley's War Crimes Studies Center and is considered an expert on East Timor.

¶8. (SBU) SJAMSOEDDIN was one of many military officers listed in the report of the Timor-Leste Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) as a "Person with High Level Command Responsibility" for his role as ASTER from June to September 1998. However, the report does not attribute any specific wrongdoing to him.

1998 JAKARTA ALLEGATIONS

¶9. (SBU) Various reports have alleged that, as Commander of the Jakarta Military Command, SJAMSOEDDIN allowed violations of human rights to occur during the May 1998 riots in Jakarta, including the May 12, 1998, shootings at Trisakti University. In response to these allegations, SJAMSOEDDIN has stated to Mission that the police lost control and the military was called in to secure strategic areas. (Note: At that time, Indonesian military and police were under joint command.) SJAMSOEDDIN has stated that all of his actions were in line with Indonesian law. At the request of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission, the GOI conducted a special investigation into the Trisakti incident and subsequent violence in Jakarta. The investigative commission recommended that he be questioned but did not recommend bringing charges against him. According to Minister of Defense Sudarsono, in September 1999 the State Secretariat cleared SJAMSOEDDIN of all accountability and legal responsibility for the mid-May 1998 riots and subsequent public disorder.

NO KNOWN CONNECTION WITH EXTREMIST GROUPS

¶10. (SBU) As reported reftel, a search of all sources of information available to us have not found any links between SJAMSOEDDIN and violent Muslim extremist groups. In 2000, sources alleged that SJAMSOEDDIN was involved with such groups in South Sulawesi. However, we have been unable to obtain access to this information. Separately, Mission has reviewed TD-314/40150-04 and believes that it contains no specific derogatory information regarding SJAMSOEDDIN.


MISSION RECOMMENDATION

¶11. (SBU) As noted above, Mission is aware of the multiple allegations against SJAMSOEDDIN and has looked into them in detail. None of the various official Indonesian, Timorese, or UN investigations of which we are aware found culpability on SJAMSOEDDIN,s part or recommended that he be punished. The bottom line of our review is that there is no evidence linking SJAMSOEDDIN directly to the human rights abuses that occurred in the cases mentioned above. We do not believe that circumstantial evidence linking SJAMSOEDDIN to these incidents through his positions of command is enough to find visa ineligibility. Therefore, Mission,s recommendation is that SJAMSOEDDIN should be issued a U.S. visa.

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http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09JAKARTA1732&hl=SJAMSOEDDIN

ID
09JAKARTA1732

SUBJECT
DECISION AND GUIDANCE REQUEST ON VISA CASE OF

DATE
2009-10-15 06:14:00

CLASSIFICATION
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

ORIGIN
Embassy Jakarta

TEXT
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001732

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, CA/FO,
CA/VO/L/C BEER
NSC FOR J. BADER, D. WALTON
DHS/ICE/VSU
NEW DELHI PLEASE PASS TO U/S BURNS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CVIS KISL ID
SUBJECT: DECISION AND GUIDANCE REQUEST ON VISA CASE OF
PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR

REF: JKT 01571

This message is sensitive but unclassified. Please handle accordingly.

¶1. (U) The following is an action request. Please see paragraph 7.

¶2. (SBU) SUMMARY: In reftel, Post sought Department's urgent assistance in adjudicating the visa case of Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Sjafrie SJAMSOEDDIN so that he might travel with President Yudhoyono to the G-20. Although that meeting has passed, GOI officials at the highest levels remain keenly interested in resolving this case. To that end, the GOI has provided information which addresses allegations made against SJAMSOEDDIN. Post requests that CA and other relevant USG departments review the following information, inform Post of SJAMSOEDDIN's visa eligibility, and if needed, recourse that may be open to him. Given the high level of GOI interest in this case, Mission appreciates Department's response at the earliest possible date. END SUMMARY.


BACKGROUND

¶3. (SBU) As reported reftel, Sjafrie SJAMSOEDDIN applied for a diplomatic (A) visa on September 9, 2009 in order to travel with President Yudhoyono to the September G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh. His application triggered a DOS exact 00 namecheck hit. This 00 hit was added in Washington on September 21, 2006 and refers to a possible ineligibility under INA 212(a)(3)(B) - terror activities - or 212(a)(3)(E) - extrajudicial killings. Post understands that (3)(B) ineligibilities may be waived by DHS but not a (3)(E) ineligibility.

ALLEGATION THAT MAY PERTAIN TO 3(B) INELIGIBILITY

¶4. (SBU) Sources within the USG that are unknown to Post have alleged that SJAMSOEDDIN was involved with violent Muslim extremist groups in South Sulawesi in 2000. A search of all sources of information available at Post have not found any links between SJAMSOEDDIN and such groups.

ALLEGATIONS THAT MAY PERTAIN TO 3(E) INELIGIBILITY

¶5. (SBU) The Department's decision to review SJAMSOEDDIN's visa application may be based, in part, on alleged gross violations of human rights/extra-judicial killings in East Timor. Following are allegations which have been made against him followed by SJAMSOEDDIN's own explanation of his involvement/or lack of involvement in these incidents. The explanations below are taken from a note from SJAMSOEDDIN to the Embassy, delivered on October 13.

Allegation: 12 November 1991 - There are media and NGO reports which accuse SJAMSOEDDIN of directing the Santa Cruz massacre while serving as Special Forces Commander of an intelligence task force in East Timor.

Explanation: "SJAMSOEDDIN's above mentioned unit in East Timor was replaced on 9 November 1991. SJAMSOEDDIN states that at the time of he was alleged to have been involved in the massacre he was in fact involved in rescuing Australian and American journalists from Timorese TNI officials who were angered that the journalists had accused them of being involved in clandestine activities."

Allegation: May 1998 - There are media and NGO reports that accuse SJAMSOEDDIN of having allowed the violations of human rights to occur during the May 1998 riots, including the fatal shooting of four Trisakti University students, At that time he was Jakarta Military Commander and therefore some argue that he must assume "command responsibility" for what happened.

Explanation: "The police lost control of the situation and

JAKARTA 00001732 002 OF 002


the military was called in to secure strategic areas. SJAMSOEDDIN acted in accordance with GOI law. At the request of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission, the GOI conducted a special investigation into the incident. The investigators issued a report which states that based on its investigation, MG SJAMSOEDDIN, acting in the position of Operation Command Commander, responded in line with the military plan of operations. The National Committee of Human Rights absolved SJAMSOEDDIN of any wrong doing."

Allegation: September 1999 - There are media, NGO, and eyewitness reports which place SJAMSOEDDIN in Dili when Indonesian soldiers allegedly fired on refugees. Assistant to Bishop Belo, Francisco Kalbuadi maintains that SJAMSOEDDIN was responsible for the disappearance of civilians in the conflict area. At the request of the prosecutor general of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), James Dunn, former Australian consul in East Timor, investigated allegations of gross violations of human rights committed by Indonesian security forces and militia groups. Dunn reported that further investigations would show that SJAMSOEDDIN was one of the key military officers responsible for the development of the Indonesian military strategy that led to alleged gross violations of human rights in East Timor.

Explanation: "In 2000 SJAMSOEDDIN explained to the Indonesian Investigative Commission into Human Rights Violations in East Timor/National Commission on Human Rights in East Timor what happened on 5 September 1999 when ten civilians were killed at the residence of Bishop Belo and was absolved of any wrongdoing."


THE NEXT STEPS

¶6. (SBU) Post recognizes that the Department and DHS will make a decision regarding these allegations against SJAMSOEDDIN in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations. We note that as a key advisor to the Indonesian president and possible cabinet appointee, SJAMSOEDDIN's travel to the United States would facilitate and strengthen U.S. - Indonesian ties. SJAMSOEDDIN provides guidance and counsel to President Yudhoyono on a number of issues of importance to the U.S., such as mil-to-mil ties, which are a cornerstone of our efforts to ensure regional stability. Moreover, the USG has been working with the GOI to reform its military, and SJAMSOEDDIN is a key decision maker in this process. SJAMSOEDDIN's continued inability to travel to the U.S. will become an irritant in U.S.-Indonesian relations.

¶7. (U) We request that the Department review this information, make a determination of SJAMSOEDDIN's visa eligibility and advise us, if he is found ineligible, what recourse is open to SJAMSOEDDIN.


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http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09JAKARTA1571&hl=SJAMSOEDDIN

ID
09JAKARTA1571

SUBJECT
SAO -- URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED IN RESOLVING VISA

DATE
2009-09-17 11:07:00

CLASSIFICATION
UNCLASSIFIED

ORIGIN
Embassy Jakarta

TEXT
UNCLAS JAKARTA 001571

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, CA/FO,
CA/VO/L/C (GREG BEER)
NSC FOR J.BADER, D.WALTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CVIS KISL ID

SUBJECT: SAO -- URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED IN RESOLVING VISA  CASE FOR PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR

¶1. (U) SUMMARY: Mission requires the Department's urgent assistant in securing a resolution for a Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) for a senior GOI official who hopes to travel to Pittsburgh for the upcoming G20 summit. The applicant's position is the equivalent of a top presidential aide on the National Security Council and Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is a former general in the Indonesian army. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (U) Mission requests the Department's urgent assistance in securing interagency SAO (Request ID: JAK0001GQD00) resolution for Mr. Sjafrie SJAMSOEDDIN (Indonesian passport number S161278 and DOB 30-October-1952) to travel to the United States on September 23 as part of a GOI Presidential delegation for the upcoming G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. SJAMSOEDDIN expects to finalize his travel on September 19. For this visit, Indonesian President Yudhoyono's office identified the visa applicant as a top aide. Mission understands that Mr. SJAMSOEDDIN has an exact name and date-of-birth hit and is subject to the SAO. If he can't be cleared for a visa, we need to provide an explanation to the GOI why this key aide can't go to the U.S.

¶3. (U) Consular NIV Chief Kira Zaporski has already sent particulars of SJAMSOEDDIN by email in an expedite request to Greg Beer in CA/VO/L/C. We urgently need a reply within 24 hours, before the opening of business on Friday, September 18 Jakarta time.

¶4. (U) As a key advisor to the Indonesian president, SJAMSOEDDIN's visit to the U.S. could offer an opportunity to focus discussion on concluding several ongoing Mission initiatives in Indonesia. As we work towards finalizing details of the Comprehensive Partnership, it is important to facilitate the travel of such influential individuals. We need the Department to bring Mr. SJAMSOEDDIN's pending SAO to a quick resolution. If a visa cannot be issued, we should provide a clear explanation to the GoI, thereby offering Indonesia's leaders an opportunity to withdraw the visa request with minimal loss of face.

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Source: http://wikileaks.cabledrum.net/cable/2009/11/09DILI299.html 

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