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Indonesia

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he plans to take if British-built military equipment is being used to repress the people of Aceh. [122900]

I visited Indonesia from 3–4 June and raised the issue of the use of British-supplied military equipment with senior members of the Indonesian Government, including President Megawati. I reminded the Indonesian Government of their assurances that they would not use British built military equipment offensively or in violation of human rights, and warned them of the possible consequences for defence sales and our defence relationship if there was a breach of such assurances. I also took the opportunity to urge the Indonesian Government to ensure that its armed forces respect human rights and act in accordance with international law.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures Her Majesty's Government is taking to monitor the nature of the use of Scorpion tanks and other British-built military equipment in Aceh. [122910]

Our embassy in Jakarta receives information from as wide a range of sources as possible, as well as from the Government. These include international agencies, NGOs, other observers and the media.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the nature of the Indonesian Government's use of British-built Scorpion tanks in Aceh in recent weeks. [122911]

The Indonesian Government announced on 23 June the deployment of 36 British-built Scorpion vehicles to Aceh to defend roads against attack by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

Our embassy in Jakarta spoke to senior military contacts and reminded them of the assurances that British-built military equipment should not be used offensively or to violate human rights. We are actively monitoring compliance with these assurances, with care.