26 Nov 2002

Indonesian lawyer for Washington Post says military trying to suppress information on Freeport ambus

5:18 am on 26 November 2002

A human rights lawyer in Jakarta says the Indonesian military chief is trying to suppress information about the Freeport mine ambush in Papua province by lodging a defamation case against the Washington Post.

"Todung Mulya (moo - lee - ya ) Lubis says the defamation case by General Endriartono Sutarto i an attempt to suppress the freedom of the press and to scare off international media."

General Sutarto is seeking 1 billion US dollars in damages and an apology from the paper over its story alleging senior military officers may have planned last August's ambush which claimed the lives of two Americans and an Indonesian.

The military has denied any involvement in the ambush and has blamed the Free Papua movement or OPM.

Todung Mulya says the Washington Post's report was fair and balanced and based on preliminary investigations by the FBI and Indonesian police.


I don't think there is anything wrong with the report so I think that it's not the fault of the Washington Post, I think that it's an over reaction it's to me... you know.. a trap to suppress the freedom of press as well, that's the implication.

DUR:... 13 SECS

Todung Mulya Lubis says the Washington Post has given General Endriartono opportunities for a public right of reply which has so far been ignored.