Indicted Indonesian General Leads Joint Military Exercise with U.S.

Apr. 26, 2007

April 26, 2007 – The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
today condemned the participation of Indonesian Major General Noer
Muis in a joint U.S.-Indonesia military exercise this week. General
Muis has been indicted for crimes against humanity in East Timor.

Photos of the general with U.S. Army, Pacific commander Lt. General
John M Brown III are featured on the U.S. Army, Pacific website
( where
Muis is described as co-director of a “command post” exercise, Garuda
Shield, now taking place in West Java. It is scheduled to run from April 16-27.

“General Muis belongs in a courtroom, not a joint U.S.-Indonesia
command center. The Bush administration has repeatedly stated that it
supports accountability for the horrendous crimes committed in East
Timor in 1999. Working with an accused mastermind of those crimes is
a funny way to show it,” said John M. Miller, ETAN’s National Coordinator.

“That the U.S. Army should so proudly feature General Muis on its
website, demonstrates the meaningless of administration pledges of
vetting to keep Indonesian officers accused of human rights crimes
from U.S. training programs and other direct cooperation,” said Miller.

“This is further evidence that the administration’s short-sighted
rush to expand assistance to an unaccountable Indonesian military
sacrifices human rights,” he added.

Muis was tried and convicted for crimes against humanity by
Indonesia’s Ad Hoc Human Rights Court in 2003 for his role in brutal
attacks on East Timor’s Dili Diocese, East Timorese Bishop Belo’s
house and the Suai Church massacre in September 1999. His conviction
and sentence of five years were overturned on appeal in that widely
discredited process, in which all but one conviction was overturned.

A colonel at the time, Colonel Muis (variously spelled Nur Muis and
Noer Moeis) became local military commander in East Timor two weeks
prior to the August 30, 1999 independence referendum. In that
capacity, he bears major responsibility for the atrocities committed
by his troops and their militia proxies. Just before the referendum
results were announced, he described contingency plans to evacuate up
to a quarter-million East Timorese from their homeland, a plan that
was soon forcibly implemented.

On February 24, 2003, Muis was indicted with other senior officers by
the UN-backed serious crimes process in East Timor. The indictment
states that Muis “failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to
prevent the crimes being committed by his subordinates and he failed
to take necessary and reasonable measures to punish perpetrators of
those crimes,” despite being “repeatedly informed” of those crimes.
At least 1400 people died, hundreds of thousands were forcibly
displaced, and most of East Timor’s infrastructure was destroyed as
the Indonesian military punished East Timor for its pro-independence vote.

Muis is currently commander of the 1st Infantry Division of the Army
Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad).

Additional information about Muis’s role in 1999 can be found in the
Masters of Terror database:

ETAN was formed in 1991. The U.S.-based organization advocates for
democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
For more information see ETAN’s web site:

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