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

 


Timor-Leste: Call for Steps to Ensure Justice

Timor-Leste: Annan Calls for Steps to Ensure Justice for 1999 Rights Violations

New York, Aug 4 2006 6:00PM

Stressing that there can be no impunity for the serious human rights violations committed in Timor-Leste following its vote for independence in 1999, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended the establishment of a new United Nations programme of international assistance to help the country achieve justice and reconciliation.

In a report to the Security Council issued today, the Secretary-General strongly criticizes the fact that those who committed such violations might escape punishment altogether.

“Crimes against humanity, gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of humanitarian law were committed in East Timor in 1999,” said the Secretary-General in the report. “There can and should be no impunity regarding such acts.”

He recommends that the Council endorse the establishment of a new UN programme of international assistance for Timor-Leste. This would include a solidarity fund made up of voluntary contributions. A community restoration programme would help victims of the 1999 crimes by providing health, social and psychological services as well as support for victim rights advocacy, among other initiatives. And a justice programme would furnish an experienced investigative team to help complete probes of the 1999 crimes.

The Commission of Truth and Friendship, jointly established by Indonesia and Timor-Leste in 2005, has the option of recommending amnesty for human rights violators in exchange for their full cooperation.

“Establishing the truth and promoting reconciliation are necessary parts of the healing process for both countries and victims,” the Secretary-General says. “It would be deeply regrettable, however, if the reconciliation process foreclosed the possibility of achieving accountability.”

Noting that indictments had been issued in only about 40 per cent of the killings committed in 1999, the Secretary-General calls for renewed efforts to investigate those crimes, as well as to bring hundreds of indicted persons, including those living in Indonesia and elsewhere, to justice.

“The limited degree of accountability achieved so far for the serious human rights violations of 1999 continues to raise questions about how best the institutions in both countries can address this concern,” he says.

The popular consultation, held in August 1999 saw the participation of virtually the entire electorate, which voted overwhelmingly for a transition towards independence.

Following the announcement of the result, pro-integration militias, at times with the support of elements of the Indonesian security forces, launched a campaign of violence, looting and arson throughout the entire territory. Despite their obligations, the Indonesian authorities did not effectively respond, and many East Timorese were killed and up to half a million displaced from their homes. Some 250,000 of those left the territory, in some cases under the gun.

In today’s report, the Secretary-General also calls on the Timorese Government to improve security at key judicial institutions, several of which were looted and vandalized earlier this year following an outbreak of violence. The unrest has been attributed to differences between eastern and western regions of the country.

Members of the Secretary-General’s special commission investigating that violence arrived in Dili today for their first visit. The commissioners will remain there until 12 August.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

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:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news