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Indonesian human rights groups critical of Wolfowitz nomination

[JURIST] Several Indonesian human rights groups have criticized the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz [official profile] for the World Bank [official website] presidency, citing his failure to oppose the Suharto dictatorship during his ambassadorship in Indonesia in the 1980s. The Indonesian National Human Rights Commission [advocacy website in Indonesian] and the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development [advocacy website] both spoke out against the nomination. According to the groups, Wolfowitz never publicly opposed the corruption in the Suharto government or its rights abuses while he served as ambassador from 1986 to 1989, which makes the strength of his support for human rights questionable. Human rights and corruption are some of the major issues confronted by the World Bank. Suharto's regime was blaimed for creating a major grafting culture in Indonesian government, with Suharto charged in 2000 with personally embezzling $600 million. Wolfowitz was also ambassador as many dissidents remained jailed from the 1965 US-backed coup and during conflict in East Timor. The charges were dropped when a judge ruled he was too ill to stand trial. Wolfowitz, who currently serves as deputy secretary of defense, was nominated [White House press release] by President Bush for the World Bank position. Read the INFID press release. AP has more.

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