imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

URGENT: Our Journalist Under Attack In Indonesia, Needs Our Help

by Common Dreams repost Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 2:15 AM

William (Billy) Nessen and his wife Shadia, are in serious danger and fear for their lives following recent threats from the Indonesian military. Please join efforts to ensure safe passage for the Nessens and an end to military aggression in Aceh and East Timor. Latest report, June 20, 2003, 'Nessen Could Be Punished By Death' see link in footer.

Please pass along and post wherever alerts are seen!


Published on Friday, June 20, 2003 by

U.S. Journalist, Under Attack In Indonesia, Needs Our Help

by Ira Chernus

I've never met William Nessen. I hope some day I will. He is a true American hero-someone willing to risk his life for the truth. We need more people like him. Now he needs us. We may help to save his life.

William Nessen may be the only Western reporter still covering the rebellion in the Aceh province of Indonesia. The Indonesia military is determined to hold on to Aceh, which is rich in oil and other natural resources. To suppress the rebellion, they are doing things they don't want the world to know about.

Nessen wants the world to know. That's why he went to Aceh. That's why he left the safety of government-controlled territory, to go where the real war is happening. There, he told Australian TV news, he found "the independence movement embodied in [the Aceh rebel movement] GAM is far more extensive than anyone has said before.. They're everywhere." The Indonesian government knows this. That's why, as Nessen says "they are trying to destroy the guerrillas."

The Indonesian strategy is to terrorize the ordinary people, whom the guerillas need for support. Nessen says their main line of attack is to cut off food supplies: "They're starving them." He also talked to eyewitnesses of a bombing attack on defenseless civilians. An Indonesian officer told the Sydney Morning Herald that the bombing was done by U.S. - made F-16s.

As they attack the people of Aceh, the Indonesians are also attacking anyone who, like William Nessen, wants to tell the truth. He was fired on once, he told the Associated Press. "They have threatened me. They've called me a dog. I've heard the local commanders would love to shoot me." He saw a photographer, who was helping him cover the story, killed by Indonesian troops "as he raised his arms in the air."

But the Indonesian military has to be careful with Nessen, who comes from the country they rely on for most of their hardware: the United States. Last week, the Indonesian commander in Aceh, Brigadier-General Bambang Darmono, assured Nessen he would not be shot-if he gives himself up for "questioning."

Nessen wisely insisted that he be guaranteed safe passage out of Indonesia. He knows well enough what "questioning" can mean in Indonesia: "My fear is of being shot, tortured, beaten and arrested and held indefinitely in a black hole," he told the Australian newspaper, The Age.

When Nessen refused to come in for "questioning," General Darsono became furious. According to TV-Radio Indonesia, "Darsono said that the TNI [Indonesian military] would have to question Nessen to ensure that this sort of thing didn't happen again."

What "sort of thing"? The official Indonesian answer is the risk to the journalists. They say they can't be responsible for the fate of Nessen, or the 20 other foreign journalists they've just let into Aceh. That's a page right out of the U.S. military's book. If you are "embedded," you are safe. If you are independent, you might end up like the journalists killed in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

In other words, if you want to be independent, so that you can tell the truth, watch out! We are gunning for you. Nessen's truth-telling is the "sort of thing" the Indonesians want to make sure won't happen again.

Nessen is a peaceable American citizen. He is being threatened by agents of a foreign government, although he is not accused of breaking any laws. That should be enough to have the full power of the U.S. government come to his aid. But it is not clear that he is getting the support every citizen deserves.

Not long ago, says Joshua Nessen, William's brother, the U.S. ambassador in Jakarta told the Indonesians they could question William, as long as they did not charge him with any crime. Now, according to the Associated Press, the embassy is urging President Megawati Sukarnoputri to help Nessen leave Aceh safely. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave Mrs. Sukarnoputri a similar message, voicing fear that Nessen may be killed or arrested.

But Joshua Nessen says that his brother deserves more than just vague promises of U.S. support. "When he comes out of the jungle, who is going to greet him?" Joshua asks. "Will he have guarantees from the U.S. embassy that he will not be interrogated by the military and that he will get free passage out of the country? Those are the questions he wants resolved before he comes out of the jungle."

U.S. officials may be walking a delicate tightrope. They don't want the embarrassment of seeing a law-abiding U.S. journalist harmed. That could cause a backlash against the Indonesian war in Aceh-a war that the U.S. government has every reason to support. The oil under an independent Aceh might be just as much beyond U.S. control as the oil beneath the sands of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

If our government is serious about fighting for democracy, not just for oil, it has even more reason to aid William Nessen. He is a model citizen, serving the most essential function of democracy: giving citizens the information they need to make wise decisions about public policy. The U.S. has been arming and training the Indonesian military since 1965, when our government supported the anti-communist coup that may have slaughtered up to a million people. Military aid to Indonesia has been hotly debated in Congress for years.

If the Indonesians are systematically killing or terrorizing civilians, using U.S. - made weapons, we all need to know about it. If the U.S. government is once again aiding Indonesian elites who serve U.S. corporate interests, we all need to know about it. William Nessen may be the man who can tell us more than anyone else.

We can help bring him home safely. His family is urging all Americans to call their Senators and Representatives, asking them to press the State Department to make sure Nessen's safety is guaranteed, in detail. It is especially important to keep Senator Lugar actively on the case. Call him at 202-224-4814, or email him at

Ira Chernus is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he can be contacted at

post found at Common Dreams

*********PLEASE SEE THIS ARTICLE!***********

'Nessen Could Be Punished By Death'

June 20, 2003 11:56 PM


Other Ways to Help:

Please FAX two letters today

(sample letter at

US Ambassador to Indonesia Ralph Boyce.

Fax: 011-6221-3435-9922

Indonesian Ambassador to the U.S. Soemadi D.M.


Fax: 202-775-5365


End Military Aggression:

Committee to Protect Journalist

Reporters Without Borders

For more Info or to help Billie and Shadia e-mail

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Your Help is Needed Now URGENT: 'Nessen Could Be Punished By Death' Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 2:33 AM
Good Luck sex with retards Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 3:29 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy