Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Amnesty - The Victims In East Timor: UN Must Act

Justice for the victims in East Timor: UN must act at once on Commission of Inquiry's report

NEW YORK -- The United Nations must act without delay on the recommendations of its own Commission of Inquiry(COI) to set up an international mechanism to investigate and try those responsible for gross human rights violations in East Timor, Amnesty International said today.

The human rights organization welcomed the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on East Timor, which were officially released today.The COI has asked the UN to set up two bodies, an independent international investigatory body, and an international tribunal to deal with cases of those accused by the investigators.

"This is a step forward -- a long overdue one -- in the struggle for justice for East Timorese victims," Amnesty International said.

The organization urged the international community to provide the political and financial backing needed to support rapid and effective implementation of the COI’s recommendations.

"It is now over four months since East Timor was destroyed and its people forced to flee. Each day brings new evidence of killings, rapes, forced expulsions and other crimes committed during that period. But those responsible remain at large, and free to repeat these atrocities elsewhere," the human rights organization pointed out.

"Therefore, investigations that provide a full account of the truth and which determine individual criminal responsibility must take place as a matter of urgency," it said.

The proposed investigatory body must include criminal investigators and experts in forensics, ballistics, gender-based violence and issues relating to children. It must also must be provided with sufficient logistical, financial and political support, to carry out its work under the auspices of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), the human rights organization said.

"Once sufficient evidence and testimonies have been gathered by investigators to form the basis of prosecutions, the UN should establish an international tribunal to bring the perpetrators to justice," Amnesty International said.

While welcoming the willingness of Indonesian human rights investigators to fix responsibility for crimes committed in East Timor, the human rights organization appealed to Jakarta to cooperate with international investigations.

"By participating in an international process of accountability, Indonesia will strengthen its new and fragile democratic institutions, and show the world that it is firmly committed to shedding its authoritarian past."

"Indonesian and international efforts to investigate crimes in East Timor should not be seen as mutually exclusive, but as supporting and reinforcing each other,"Amnesty International said.

Apart from East Timor, there are thousands of victims, both current and past, of killings, "disappearance", torture and arbitrary arrests in Aceh, Papua and elsewhere in Indonesia, Amnesty International pointed out.

"Their search for justice must not be forgotten by Indonesia. For long term peace, stability and development, the new Indonesian government must take immediate measures to improve the human rights situation and to address all these issues of accountability," Amnesty International said.

Background:

Following the orchestrated violence by pro-Indonesian militia and Indonesian security forces against the people of East Timor, after they had voted overwhelmingly for independence, a special session of the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution, on 27 September 1999, calling upon the UN Secretary General to establish an international Commission of Inquiry on East Timor.

The COI was asked to investigate possible violations of human rights and acts which might constitute breaches of humanitarian law.

After a number of delays, the five members of the COI visited East Timor and Jakarta from 25 November to 8 December 1999 and submitted a report to the Secretary General a few weeks later. That report was made public today.

An investigation team was also established in September 1999 by Indonesia’s National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM). This body, called the Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations in East Timor (KPP-HAM), also submitted its report and recommendations to the Indonesian government today. It is reported to have recommended that 33 people, including six generals, should be further investigated by Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman for their role in the mass violence in East Timor.

ENDS.../

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news