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Indonesia Jails American, Briton JAKARTA - An American nurse and a British researcher jailed in Indonesia's separatist-riven Aceh province refused to sign a police dossier on their case, saying investigators falsified statements the women made under interrogation, their lawyer said Friday. Joy Lee Sadler of Waterloo, Iowa, and Scottish-born Lesley Jane McCulloch were arrested with their Indonesian interpreter on Sept. 11 and charged with violating the terms of their tourist visas by contacting rebels of the Free Aceh Movement, an offense that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Authorities are divided over whether to deport the pair or put them on trial. Police are questioning the women over what they say are possible links to the rebels waging a 26-year separatist war in Aceh. The women deny having links to the rebels and say they have been mistreated in custody. The women refused Thursday to sign a record of their lengthy interrogation, saying the police twisted their words and fabricated other answers, said their lawyer, Rufriadi, who like many Indonesians goes by a single name.
The document could be used against the women, should a trial be held. ``Both refused to sign the dossiers, complaining that some of the answers which police typed were different than the ones that they gave,'' Rufriadi said. A police spokesman, Maj. Taufik Sugiono said, ``They are entitled to protest and we will correct their answers and return the dossiers for them to sign.''
Since they were detained, the women have said they were punched, deprived of sleep, denied access to embassy officials and forced to endure marathon interrogations. Aceh police have announced they want to try the women but the national police said they should be deported. The U.S. and the British Embassies have sent diplomats to Aceh to help the women, and the British Embassy has lodged a complaint with the national police over the treatment of McCulloch.
Sadler has told relatives that she traveled to Aceh to treat the sick and injured in refugee camps. McCulloch has said she was in Aceh to research a book on the separatist conflict, relatives said. The rebels in Aceh are fighting for independence of their resource-rich province about 1,100 miles northwest of the capital of Jakarta. More than 12,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed during a decade of conflict.



Posted in Aceh conflict @ 20 September 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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