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30 May 1995

Annual report 1994




Malaysia
In 1994 the ICRC focused on visits to detainees, spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law and the ICRC's activities and training National Society staff in order to involve them in international operations.

In April the ICRC completed its round of prison visits to detainees held under the Internal Security Act. Between November 1993 and April 1994 delegates visited 49 detainees throughout Malaysia.

The ICRC, together with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS), organized a workshop on international humanitarian law in Kuala Lumpur for 40 military instructors. An information day was held for 80 officers of the armed forces' medical corps. In addition, the regional delegation and the National Society prepared a five-day workshop for 35 directors of provincial branches of the MRCS. This focused on international humanitarian law and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. At the end of the year a similar workshop was held in Bintulu, Sarawak province, for 34 Red Crescent representatives.

In October the ICRC Vice-President visited Malaysia to hold talks with National Society leaders. The matters discussed included dissemination programmes, preparations for the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and ways of strengthening the ICRC's working relations with the MRCS. Talks with government officials centred on the promotion of international humanitarian law.

See also Jakarta regional delegation






30 May 1995

Annual report 1994




Jakarta Regional delegation (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia/East Timor, Malaysia, Singapore)
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
INDONESIA

EAST TIMOR
MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

During a visit to Brunei in June the regional delegate established contacts with the emerging Brunei Red Crescent Society with the aim of preparing for its admission to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.


INDONESIA

As in previous years, the ICRC's activities in Indonesia focused on visits to all categories of security detainees. In the light of the persistent tension in Aceh, the ICRC developed its presence in the area. Through regular missions to this northern Sumatran province, delegates were able to extend the scope of their activities for the civilian population. However, the institution's permanent presence in the province remained subject to approval.

Contacts with the Indonesian armed forces regarding the promotion of international humanitarian law among the troops made gradual progress. Ties with the National Society were also strengthened.

In November a Hercules aircraft was made available to the ICRC by the Indonesian government for an emergency airlift to Afghanistan. Medical supplies were flown into Kabul, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif.


Activities for detainees

In October the ICRC began its annual round of visits to security detainees held in Sulawesi, Kalimantan, central Java and Irian Jaya. All categories of security detainees were visited, including those suspected of having links to the extreme right and people held in connection with the 1965 communist coup attempt.

At regular intervals delegates went to military and civilian places of detention in Aceh, visiting some 139 detainees, of whom 80 were newly registered. They also visited ex-detainees in their homes and saw families of detainees who were still anxious about their relatives' whereabouts. The ICRC subsequently made the necessary arrangements for family visits to security prisoners.

In Irian Jaya the ICRC developed its contacts in connection with detention matters. It organized two series of family visits for detainees serving sentences in Java, far from their homes, although ideally the Indonesian authorities should consider transferring these people back to places of detention in Irian Jaya.

In all places visited delegates monitored the conditions of detention, provided material and medical assistance when necessary and offered the detainees the opportunity to write Red Cross messages to their families. In 1994 the ICRC visited a total of 208 detainees held in 30 places of detention throughout Indonesia. Around 113 prisoners benefited from the family visits programme.


Activities for the civilian population

The ICRC carried out several missions to Irian Jaya to assess the situation of returnees from UNHCR refugee camps in Papua New Guinea. Delegates regularly contacted the local authorities in the area and visited villages along the border and transit camps in order to monitor living standards and the conditions in which the Irianese were transferred to their places of origin. In September the ICRC visited UNHCR border camps in Papua New Guinea, which still harboured approximately 3,500 Irianese refugees, and facilitated the exchange of news between separated family members through Red Cross messages.

ICRC delegates carried out regular missions to Aceh. Their activities focused on humanitarian problems encountered by the civilian population. Where necessary, the ICRC informed the relevant authorities.

In Irian Jaya the ICRC worked in cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross Society, which provided logistic support, liaised with the civilian population and helped to organize family visits to security detainees.


Tracing activities

The ICRC's tracing service in Jakarta provided support for the delegation's detention-related activities. In 1994 it concentrated its efforts on responding to a number of tracing requests from the civilian population in Aceh and Irian Jaya by collecting statements and allegations of disappearances and family separations.


Dissemination

As in previous years, the main focus was dissemination of international humanitarian law to the Indonesian armed forces. The ICRC initiated a dialogue with the Indonesian armed forces regarding the incorporation of dissemination courses in military training programmes. Meetings with the decision-making level of the military were held at the headquarters of the armed forces in Cilacap and Bandung.

The regional delegation organized sessions for the police, university students and Red Cross members and personnel. The regional delegation financed and took part in one-day workshops on the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for the management level of Red Cross branches in Sumatra, South Sulawesi, Flores and East Timor.


EAST TIMOR

The situation in East Timor remained uncertain in 1994. The ICRC kept a close watch on all major incidents which occurred during the year, helping to ease tension by acting as a neutral intermediary between the authorities and the civilian population and by monitoring respect for international humanitarian law. In July demonstrations in and around the university campus in Dili resulted in a number of arrests. The ICRC did its utmost to promote a dialogue between the demonstrators and the authorities and helped maintain contact between those arrested and their families. In addition, delegates gave first aid to a number of students involved in the demonstration and evacuated one person to Dili's civilian hospital. Some 20 demonstrators were arrested and the ICRC was immediately granted access to them in police stations and military camps. They were all subsequently released.

When a group of Timorese staged a 12-day sit-in at the United States embassy in Jakarta in November, the ICRC was called upon to act as a neutral intermediary by the parties concerned. After receiving confirmation from all the Timorese involved in the sit-in of their wish to leave, the ICRC facilitated their departure for Portugal. The ICRC continued to follow the cases of other Timorese in Jakarta, including those who had been prevented from joining the group in the United States embassy compound.

Sessions on international humanitarian law and the fundamental Red Cross principles were held on a regular basis for the security forces and at Dili University.


Activities for detainees

Delegates based in Dili frequently visited security detainees in places of detention run by the armed forces, the police and the Ministry of Justice. The ICRC also visited Timorese detainees held in Java, including the leader of the armed opposition detained in a prison in Jakarta.

In all places of detention visited, the ICRC checked on detainees' conditions of detention and treatment, provided material and medical assistance where necessary, gave detainees the opportunity to write Red Cross messages to their relatives and organized and financed two series of family visits for those being held far from home.


Activities for the civilian population

Since November 1993, ICRC delegates have been able to move more freely in East Timor. In 1994 they had better access to the local population and their activities focused on the protection of the civilian population. Delegates recorded allegations of violations and contacted the authorities on these matters whenever necessary.


Tracing activities

The tracing service offered support for the ICRC's detention-related activities by collecting and distributing Red Cross messages. It also dealt with 140 tracing enquiries, including cases concerning missing persons, many of which were brought over from the previous year. The ICRC repatriated 31\'81hardship cases from East Timor to Portugal.


Water and sanitation

The ICRC worked closely with the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) in East Timor in the field of sanitation and public health. The water and sanitation programme was launched in 1988 by the ICRC and the PMI, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health in East Timor, in order to give remote villages access to fresh drinking water. Surveys were conducted by an ICRC water engineer, maintenance work was carried out and four ICRC/PMI teams dug wells or piped water from remote springs. In 1994 eight projects were completed, bringing the total over the past seven years to 42.

An ICRC nurse trained two Timorese nurses to carry out medical surveys and hygiene and public health programmes. Together they conducted surveys in some of the remotest parts of the island, providing assistance where needed.


MALAYSIA

In 1994 the ICRC focused on visits to detainees, spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law and the ICRC's activities and training National Society staff in order to involve them in international operations.

In April the ICRC completed its round of prison visits to detainees held under the Internal Security Act. Between November 1993 and April 1994 delegates visited 49 detainees throughout Malaysia.

The ICRC, together with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS), organized a workshop on international humanitarian law in Kuala Lumpur for 40 military instructors. An information day was held for 80 officers of the armed forces' medical corps. In addition, the regional delegation and the National Society prepared a five-day workshop for 35 directors of provincial branches of the MRCS. This focused on international humanitarian law and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. At the end of the year a similar workshop was held in Bintulu, Sarawak province, for 34 Red Crescent representatives.

In October the ICRC Vice-President visited Malaysia to hold talks with National Society leaders. The matters discussed included dissemination programmes, preparations for the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and ways of strengthening the ICRC's working relations with the MRCS. Talks with government officials centred on the promotion of international humanitarian law.


SINGAPORE

While in the Far East in October, the ICRC Vice-President conducted a mission to Singapore with the aim of establishing closer relations between the ICRC and both the Singapore Red Cross Society and the government. To this end, the Vice-President met representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the National Society. Topics raised included the promotion of international humanitarian law and the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The ICRC remained in touch with the National Society and the Ministry of Defence with a view to organizing a training course on international humanitarian law for military instructors in 1995.