World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


ETAN Calls for More Steps to Justice for E Timor

ETAN Praises Placement of Indonesian War Criminals on State Department Watch List - Calls for Additional Steps to Achieve Justice

For Immediate Release

January 20, 2003 - The East Timor Action Network (ETAN) today praised the U.S. State Department for placing senior Indonesian military officials on it visa watch list. The group, however, emphasized that this step was only an initial one in the pursuit of justice for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in East Timor since Indonesia's 1975 invasion.

"The denial of visas to General Wiranto and other senior military (TNI) officials is an important first step, but the U.S. can do much more to promote justice for the people of East Timor," said John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN. "The U.S. must work with the UN Security Council to establish an international tribunal for East Timor. Only a tribunal would have the resources and political weight to properly try and punish those responsible for genocide and other grave crimes," said Miller.

"The Bush administration must also cease all assistance for the Indonesian military, the institution most responsible for these crimes in East Timor," continued Miller.

"The State Department should add to its visa watch list all of the nearly 300 people indicted in East Timor who have been given sanctuary in Indonesia and should encourage other nations to do the same ," he said.

"We also urge President Bush to expeditiously release U.S. government documents requested nearly a year ago by East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation," said Miller. "A full accounting of United States knowledge and actions during Indonesia's brutal occupation is an essential step towards justice and U.S. accountability for the military and political support it gave Indonesia during the occupation."

In a January 24, 2003 letter, the Commission asked for U.S. government documents on significant events and egregious human rights abuses that took place during Indonesia's occupation.

ETAN supports human dignity for the people of East Timor by advocating for democracy, economic justice and human rights, including women's rights. Since 1999, ETAN has joined with East Timorese civil society to urge the UN Security Council to establish an international tribunal. For additional information, see ETAN's web site (http://www.etan.org).

Background

The six believed to be State Department's watch list were indicted for crimes against humanity on February 24, 2003, by the joint UN-East Timor Special Crimes Unit (SCU) in Dili. In addition to General Wiranto, a leading presidential candidate in Indonesia, others thought to be on the list are General Zacky Anwar Makarim , Major-General Kiki Syahnakri, General Adam Damiri, Colonel Tono Suratman, and Colonel Mohammad Noer Muis.

The SCU has filed 81 indictments so far accusing 37 Indonesian military (TNI) commanders and officers, four Indonesian police chiefs, 65 East Timorese TNI officers and soldiers, and East Timor's former governor. At present, 281 of the 369 indicted by the SCU remain at large in Indonesia. Among those indicted by the SCU are Timbul Silaen and East Timorese militia leader Eurico Guterres. Silaen, the chief of police in 1999, is now performing the same function in Papua, where, with the assistance of Guterres, he is allegedly assisting in efforts to form militia.

East Timor's National Alliance for an International Tribunal recently called for strengthening the serious crimes process in East Timor, until an international tribunal is established. The UN is currently evaluating its options for when the current peacekeeping mission ends in May 2004. The alliance urged the UN to back the [SCU] "mandate with resources and political commitment to compel Indonesia to cooperate." Without such backing, the Alliance called the SCU process a "cruel charade" which provides "an excuse for East Timor's government and the international community to avoid meaningful action for justice."

During its illegal occupation of the island nation from 1975 to 1999, the Indonesian military was responsible for the deaths of more than 200,000 people, one-third of the population. The U.S. supplied over $1 billion in weapons and training from the time of the invasion through 1991. The Bush administration is pressing to restore much of the assistance cut beginning in 1991.

After the East Timorese people voted for independence in 1999, the Indonesian military retaliated by killing more than 1300 people, raping hundreds of women and girls, and destroying most of the country's infrastructure. In the months following 1999's devastation, two UN bodies called for the establishment of an international tribunal. Instead, Indonesia promised to try its own and eventually established the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court for East Timor. The widely-criticized court issued its final verdict on August 5. Of the 18 people tried, 12 were acquitted. General Damiri was convicted by the court, but received a sentence of three years, far less than the legal minimum sentence. He remains free pending appeal and is currently helping to direct the massive military campaign in Aceh. General Suratman was acquitted.

East Timorese leaders, stressing the need to establish good relations with their powerful neighbor, have repeatedly urged the international community to take the lead on issues of accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in East Timor.

Details about those banned and others significant figures involved in the 1999 violence can be found at http://www.yayasanhak.minihub.org/mot/.

-30-


etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan

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

You can support ETAN by making a secure financial contribution via
http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm

John M. Miller Internet: fbp@igc.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

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

etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news