Indonesia's Chief of State Intelligence Lt. Gen. Moetojib claimed that government officials have found "no evidence" that mass rapes of ethnic Chinese occurred during May riots in Jakarta.
Moetojib also accused women's rights groups of fabricating the stories for their own gain. "I have come to the conclusion that the rumors were spread for political purposed to defame Indonesia in the international area and to disintegrate national unity," said Moetojib.
Ethnic Chinese are a small minority in Indonesia, where they compose only about 4 percent of the country's population. Despite their small numbers, Chinese dominate Indonesia's economy, and are being blamed by many for the region's recent economic crisis.
Women's rights groups have struggled to publicize the mass rapes of at least 168 women and girls, mostly of whom were ethnic Chinese. In addition to the rapes, thousands of ethnic Chinese also lost their homes and business to looting and arson during the riots.
Protests of the Indonesia government's response to the crimes against ethnic Chinese have taken place in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the U.S.
Media Resources: AP and Nando.net - August 24, 1998