Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Condemns Attacks on Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia

August 6, 1998

Pelosi and Colleagues to send letter to President calling for policy that protects ethnic Chinese

Rep. Nancy Pelosi is asking Members of Congress to join her in sending a letter to President Clinton on the urgent need to restore the confidence and security of the ethnic Chinese community in Indonesia. In the letter, Pelosi and her colleagues urge President Clinton to make the treatment of ethnic Chinese central to the Administration's policy toward Indonesia. There are credible reports that at least 168 ethnic Chinese women and girls were raped during the mid-May riots in Jakarta. "These acts of brutality against ethnic Chinese women and their families are well-documented and cannot be condoned," Pelosi said. "The confidence and security of the ethnic Chinese community in Indonesia must be part of any credible reform program by President Habibie."

The Indonesian military has come under criticism for failing to protect the Chinese minority during the rioting and unrest that has been linked to the country's ongoing political and economic crisis. The letter also urges the Administration to impress upon the Indonesian government that it must end all official discrimination against ethnic Chinese, prevent any further attacks, identify and prosecute those responsible for the May abuses, and issue an apology and provide compensation to the victims.

The President and the Secretary of State are also urged to raise concerns about these issues, particularly the rapes of ethnic Chinese women, in possible upcoming meetings with Indonesian President Habibie and Foreign Minister Alatas.

Att: Letter to the President

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