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Call To Support Accountability for Past Abuses

Bahasa Indonesia version below:

Media Release

For Immediate Release Contact: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668 (USA) Paul Barber, +44-1420-80153 (Britain) Charles Scheiner, +670-723-4335 (East Timor)

International Federation for East Timor Urges Nations' President to Fully Support Accountability for Past Abuses

April 1, 2003 - The International Federation for East Timor (IFET) today urged the new nation's President to fully support meaningful justice for crimes against humanity and other crimes committed in the territory.

In a letter to President Xanana Gusmao, IFET expressed dismay at his reaction to February's indictment by the joint UN-East Timor Serious Crimes Unit of high-ranking Indonesian military officers for crimes against humanity committed before and after East Timor's 1999 referendum.

While praising Gusmao's promotion of reconciliation and good relations with Indonesia, the letter argued that they are not "incompatible with the pursuit of justice... [and] that they should [not] be given priority over justice." The Indonesian people "will not be well served by the continued protection of [military] impunity," the letter said. IFET also wrote that East Timor's pursuit of "national reconciliation does not require impunity for those in Indonesia who directed the violence."

IFET expressed dismay at UN efforts to distance itself from the SCU indictments and said it would press the UN to support the process now and after the current UN Mission in East Timor (UNMISET) ends in May 2004 so that all outstanding cases can be completed. It further pledged to continue to build international support for the serious crimes process.

"We will continue to urge [the UN] to find other ways of bringing the perpetrators to justice, including the establishment of an international criminal tribunal and prosecutions in third countries under universal jurisdiction provisions," IFET said.

IFET called trials in Jakarta's ad hoc human rights "a manifest travesty of justice" and argued that "the international community and the Government of Timor-Leste must share the responsibility of providing justice for East Timor." It called, "the issuing of the indictments by the SCU... a major step towards holding the highest-ranking perpetrators to account and relieving the suffering of the many thousands of Timorese victims and their families."

The full text of IFET's letter is available in English and Bahasa Indonesia at www.etan.org/ifet.

IFET was formed in 1991 to support the self-determination process for East Timor at the United Nations. It has 35 member groups from 20 countries.

-30-

---------- Media Release

Kontak: Paul Barber, +44-1420-80153 (Britain) Charles Scheiner, +670-723-4335 (East Timor) John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668 (USA)

Federasi Internasional Timor Timur mendesak Presiden Timor Leste agar Sepenuhnya Mendukung Akuntibilitas untuk Pelanggaran HAM Masa Lalu.

April 1 2003 - Federasi Internasional Timor Timur (IFET) hari ini mendesak Presiden negara baru itu agar sepenuhnya mendukung keadilan yang sesungguhnya terhadap kejahatan kemanusiaan dan kejahatan-kejahatan lain yang dilakukan di wilayah Timor Timur.

Dalam suratnya kepada Presiden Xanana Gusmao, IFET mengungkapkan kekecewaannya terhadap reaksi Presiden Xanana Gusmao mengenai dakwaan-dakwaan yang dikeluarkan oleh Unit Kejahatan Berat PBB/TimTim terhadap perwira-perwira tinggi TNI untuk kejahatan terhadap kemanusiaan yang dilakukan sebelum dan sesudah referendum tahun 1999.

Walaupun IFET menghargai ajakan Gusmao untuk rekonsiliasi dan untuk membangun hubungan baik dengan Indonesia, surat IFET tersebut mengatakan bahwa kedua masalah itu tidak "bertentangan dengan usaha-usaha memenuhi keadilan, serta tidak seharusnya mengutamakan hubungan baik diatas penegakan keadilan". Rakyat Indonesia "tidak akan dibantu kalau impunitas militer terus berlangsung," demikian surat tersebut. IFET juga mengatakan bahwa "rekonsiliasi nasional (di Timor Leste) tidak membutuhkan impunitas untuk orang-orang Indonesia yang mengatur kekerasan tersebut".

IFET juga mengucapkan kekecewaannya terhadap usaha-uhasa PBB untuk menjauhkan diri dari dakwaan-dakwaan SCU dan mengatakan bahwa IFET akan terus menerus mendesak PBB agar mendukung proses tersebut pada saat ini, demikian pula setelah misi PBB di Timor Leste (UNMISET) mengakhiri pekerjaannya dalam bulan Mei 2004, agar semua perkara bisa diselesaikan. IFET juga berjanji akan terus berusaha untuk membangun dukungan internasional untuk proses mengadili kejahatan berat ini.

"Kami akan terus menurus mendesak (PBB) agar mencari cara-cara lainnya terhadap mereka yang bertanggungjawab, termasuk pula pendirian pengadilan kejahatan internasional serta dakwaan-dakwaan di negara-negara ketiga sesuai dengan ketentuan-ketentuan yuridis universil. ",. Demikian IFET.

IFET mengatakan bahwa pengadilan HAM ad hoc di Jakarta "merupakan suatu karikatur keadilan' dan mengemukakan pendapat bahwa "masyarakat internasional dan pemerintah Timor Leste harus memikul bersama tanggungjawab untuk memberikan keadilan kepada Timor Timur". IFET berpendapat bahwa "dikeluarkannya dakwaan-dakwaan oleh SCU merupakan langkah penting dalam proses memaksa perwira-perwira tinggi militer untuk mempertanggungjawabkan perbuatan mereka serta mengurangi penderitaan ribuan korban-korban Timor Timur dan keluarganya."

IFET didirikan pada tahun 1991 untuk mendukung proses penentuan nasib sendiri untuk Timor Timur di PBB. Pada saat ini, IFET meliputi 35 organisasi dari 20 negara.

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etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan
John M. Miller Internet: john@etan.org

Media & Outreach Coordinator
East Timor Action Network: 12 Years for Self-Determination & Justice

48 Duffield St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA
Phone: (718)596-7668 Fax: (718)222-4097
Mobile phone: (917)690-4391
Web site: http://www.etan.org

Support ETAN, make a secure financial contribution:
http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm

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