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Woodside activist found dead in Indonesia

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The Woodside lawyer from Indonesia who vanished Aug. 5 on a mission to bring attention to human rights abuses in his native country was one of five bodies found Monday afternoon outside Medan, his last known whereabouts, a colleague said.

Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, 35, who founded the International Forum for Aceh in 1998, was discovered about 48 miles outside Medan and was identified by his family Wednesday morning, said Robert Jereski, executive director of the International Forum on Aceh.

Hamzah was one of 57 people feared kidnapped or dead in Indonesia this year alone, Jereski said.

Hamzah, who was originally from Lhokseumawe, had returned to Indonesia on a monthlong mission to document and highlight human rights abuses by police and the military, Jereski said. He had also hoped to establish a newspaper on the island of Sumatra.

Jereski said the bodies, wrapped in barb wire, were found strewn along the road and were unrecognizable in many ways. All were victims of torture and had numerous stab wounds, he said.

Hamzah

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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