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ETAN Calls Indonesian Suspect List Inadequate

ETAN Calls Indonesian Suspect List "Inadequate and a Capitulation"

For Immediate Release September 1, 2000

Contact: John M. Miller, (718)596-7668; (917)690-4391 (mobile)

ETAN Calls Indonesian Suspect List "Inadequate and a Capitulation" Calls International Tribunal Only Option

The East Timor Action Network/U.S. today condemned the Indonesian Attorney General's announcement that he plans to question only 19 suspects in last year's campaign of murder and destruction in East Timor.

"The list is wholly inadequate and a capitulation to the continued power of the Indonesian military. The Indonesians should turn over their files and suspects to U.N. prosecutors in East Timor and work with the U.N. to set up an international tribunal," said John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN.

"Indonesia's promises to hold those responsible for East Timor's destruction will at best be only partly kept. The list of names does not even cover all those fingered earlier this year by Indonesia's own human rights commission. This announcement -- combined with Indonesia's recent passage of a constitutional amendment foreclosing direct prosecution of past human rights abuses -- demonstrates that a tribunal is needed to provide genuine justice for the people of East Timor," said Miller.

"This list is far more than disappointing, it is an indication that the time has come for the U.N., the U.S. and other governments to call, unreservedly, for an international human rights tribunal," said Lynn Fredriksson, Washington Representative for ETAN.

"With Indonesian military-backed militia violence continuing unhindered in West Timor refugee camps and creating terror along East Timor's border, genuine human rights accountability is needed to deal with current problems, as well as to achieve justice and reconciliation for past violations," she added.

"The U.S. would do well to side with the forces of democracy in both Indonesia and East Timor; support for an international tribunal ultimately translates into support for greater military and judicial reform," said Fredriksson.

"The suspect list issued today by Indonesian investigators fits the pattern of the Suharto years of targeting lower-ranking officers while letting off their commanders and political leaders in Jakarta who plan the terror campaigns, provide the resources and issue the orders," said Miller.

Among those absent from the list are many militia leaders, including Eurico Guterres and Joao Tavares; General Wiranto, then commander of the Indonesian armed forces; and Indonesian cabinet officers who funded the militia, such as then foreign minister Ali Alatas and retired General Feisal Tanjung, the former coordinating minister for political affairs and security.

Also missing is former Army deputy chief of staff Lt. Gen. Johny Lumintang, who has been sued in U.S. courts for his role in the events surrounding last year's independence vote in East Timor. That lawsuit is based on the same legal grounds as the one filed yesterday against Chinese leader Li Peng over his role in the Tiananmen Square massacre.

For more information see http://www.etan.org/action/issues/h-rights.htm.

The East Timor Action Network/ U.S. (ETAN) was founded in November 1991 to support East Timorese self-determination. ETAN now works for a peaceful transition to independence in East Timor. It has 28 local chapters throughout the U.S.

-30- end

etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan John M. Miller Internet: john@etan.org Media & Outreach Coordinator, East Timor Action Network 48 Duffield St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA Phone: (718)596-7668 Fax: (718)222-4097 Mobile: (917)690-4391 Web site: http://www.etan.org

Send a blank e-mail message to info@etan.org to find out how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan


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