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"The Indonesian special commission on militia violence in East Timor has amply confirmed suspicions of Indonesian military involvement in and responsibility for crimes against humanity in East Timor. The commission has made a sincere effort to find out what happened before and after the August 1999 vote on independence. It has cast new light on many crimes committed by the militia, the military and the police. It has uncovered new sources of information. It has exhumed the bodies of victims of massacres, putting beyond doubt that crimes were committed and that the evidence exists. And it has shown the links between some of the most terrible crimes and the Indonesian military, extending beyond Timor itself, beyond the regional command in Bali, to the the high command itself in Jakarta. The commission’s secret 41-page report, prepared for the Indonesian Attorney-General, Mr Marzuki Darusman, is frank and credible, and not exculpatory in tone." Sydney Morning Herald editorial

See especially:

31 Jan 2000 KPP HAM's Secret Report on Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor
"KPP HAM has been successful in collecting facts and proofs that provide strong indications that serious violations of human rights have been carried out in a planned and systematic manner and on a large and wide scale in the form of mass murder, torture and maltreatment, forced disappearance, violence towards women and children (including rape and sexual slavery), forced evacuations, scorched earth policies and destruction of property, all of which constitute crimes towards humanity. ...
KPP HAM also found strong evidence concerning getting rid of and destroying evidence, which is a criminal act. ...
The types of acts and the pattern of crimes against humanity were as follows: The involvement of the civilian and military apparatuses including the police cooperated with the pro-integration militia groups in crimes against humanity. This represented abuse of power and authority and resulted in the involvement of military institutions as well as civil agencies." Indonesian Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM)



Sydney Morning Herald

April 28, 2001

Editorial

Timor crimes

The Indonesian special commission on militia violence in East Timor has amply confirmed suspicions of Indonesian military involvement in and responsibility for crimes against humanity in East Timor. The commission has made a sincere effort to find out what happened before and after the August 1999 vote on independence. It has cast new light on many crimes committed by the militia, the military and the police. It has uncovered new sources of information. It has exhumed the bodies of victims of massacres, putting beyond doubt that crimes were committed and that the evidence exists. And it has shown the links between some of the most terrible crimes and the Indonesian military, extending beyond Timor itself, beyond the regional command in Bali, to the the high command itself in Jakarta.

The commission’s secret 41-page report, prepared for the Indonesian Attorney-General, Mr Marzuki Darusman, is frank and credible, and not exculpatory in tone. It sees three distinct phases in the “systematic course of violent action carried out by the militia with the support of and, it must be strongly suspected, organised by the armed forces and police apparatus”.  In the first phase, before the May 5, 1999, agreement in New York setting the terms of the referendum - independence or autonomy within Indonesia - the violence was blatant, aimed at giving the impression of civil war conditions which would require the vote to be postponed. After May 5, the report says, the military and police had to step back to give “an image of neutrality”, but violence was escalated by the militia. In the final phase, after the ballot, about 250,000 people were deported to West Timor or to other islands.

The report lists 32 people who should be investigated as suspects for crimes against humanity, including two major-generals and 15 other military personnel. The armed forces commander, General Wiranto, is not on this list.  But his responsibility is made plain. “All of the crimes against humanity, direct or indirect, took place because of the failure of the Armed Forces Commander [Wiranto] to guarantee the security of the implementation of the announcement of the two options by the government,” the report says. “The police structure which at that time was under the command of the Defence Minister [a position also held by Wiranto] weakened the capacity of the police apparatus in carrying out the task of security based on the New York agreement. For this, General Wiranto, as armed forces commander, was the one who must bear responsibility.”

It will be a further crime, added to those indicated by this report, if the Indonesian Government now fails to extend the jurisdiction of the Indonesian special tribunal on human rights cases well back before the time of the referendum, to catch the many crimes committed before August 1999. If not, there will be renewed international pressure for a special UN war crimes tribunal for Indonesia like those for Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

Any external pressure for tougher Indonesian action on crimes against humanity in East Timor will be resisted by the armed forces. This, in turn, could increase the military’s determination to see President Abdurrahman Wahid replaced by his deputy, Megawati Sukarnoputri, seen by the military as more complaisant and acceptable to it. For Indonesia’s sake, its friends, including Australia, will hope and expect President Wahid to stand firm and see the armed forces cleansed and justice done to the people of East Timor through proper action on this report.


See also: BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home   April news
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