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Goff Comments On East Timor Reports

Media Release
Hon Phil Goff

1 February 2000


GOFF COMMENTS ON EAST TIMOR REPORTS

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the report of Komnas Ham, the Human Rights Commission in Indonesia into human rights abuses in East Timor.

"The report is hard-hitting and unequivocal. It finds that human rights violations on a large scale did occur in East Timor and names 31 persons to be further investigated.

"The report states clearly that the systematic nature of human rights abuses indicates the direct involvement of the Indonesian army and police in support of the militia.

"It is important that those who planned and directed these actions as well as those who carried them out are brought to justice."

Mr Goff welcomed the move this morning by President Wahid to ask General Wiranto to resign. "This is an encouraging first step," he said.

"We look to Indonesia to honour its commitment to bring all those responsible for the abuses in East Timor to justice.

The UN's International Commission of Inquiry also released its report last night. It called for the establishment of an independent international body to conduct further investigations and for an International Human Rights Tribunal to prosecute those accused of serious violations.

New Zealand would support such a body. However, if the Indonesians honour their commitments, the process in Indonesia could see a quicker and more effective result.

"The International Human Rights Tribunal should be ready as a backstop if Indonesians measures prove to be inadequate.

Ends

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