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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Archive of
War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity
Crimes Contra a Humanidade:

Archived 26 August 2004

A collection of press releases, petitions, articles and news relating to crimes committed against the East Timorese people

For the most up-to-date current info: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity

Background info:

25 Aug 2004 AFFET: Selective Human Rights by Howard/Downer  Media release added 26 Aug 2004
"Howard says he feels responsible and frustrated about perpetrators of murder and terror in Bali not able to be charged with terrorism offences, and will do all he can to press on this matter - Downer much the same. Downer and Howard, in fact all Australian governments, stood by whilst the Indonesian military invaded and occupied our closest neighbour East Timor, and did nothing, in fact supported the Indonesians, whilst 300,000 or 40% of that country died." Rob Wesley-Smith, Spokesperson, Australians For a Free East Timor - Darwin

19 Aug 2004 AETA: A turning point of history: The 1999 UN Referendum  Article added 19 Aug 2004
" Within days over 90% of all buildings in East Timor had been burnt or destroyed as the Indonesian Army extracted their revenge on a people and country who refused to be intimidated any more. Houses and offices were ransacked. Even tin from roofing was prised off and carried away. Over 1/3 of the civilian population were forcibly deported at gun point to neighbouring West Timor on Indonesian Naval boats or overland in a crude attempt to depopulate the new nation before it even began. " Jefferson Lee, Timor Sea Campaign officer, Australia East Timor Association (NSW) & member, Timor Sea Justice Coalition Sydney

Feb 15 SMH: Blue Book of horrors makes a diplomatic time bomb  Article added Feb 16
"An explosive secret report on Indonesia’s brutal occupation of East Timor is sitting in Canberra ... The material Jones saw as a desk officer in the former Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO, now called the Defence Intelligence Organisation) contained damning detail about the brutality of the East Timor occupation, in which up to a third of the population, or 200,000 people, may have died. ...
The period it covers includes the harshest times for the East Timorese, when Indonesian forces shot and pillaged their way through the territory’s towns and villages, displaced rural populations to starve in holding centres, and induced widespread famine to break the guerilla resistance. Jones, now a business consultant in Western Australia, says the eight-chapter book is a harrowing record. “You’d cry if you read it,” he says, adding: “The truth must come out some day."" Hamish McDonald & Desmond Ball

Jan 31 JSMP: Second crimes against humanity trial commences in dili  News added Feb 1
"The Second Special Panel of the Dili District Court has begun hearing the second trial involving crimes against humanity charges in East Timor.  The trial relates to militia violence in Liquica District in March and April 1999, including the massacre of a group of villagers who were hiding in the Liquica Church on 6 April 1999.  One charge also relates to another massacre at the house of Manuel Carrascalao in Dili on 17 April 1999.  The accused, Armando Dos Santos, is charged with 3 counts of murder and one of other inhumane acts." Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Dec 22 Linton: Cambodia, ETimor & Sierra Leone: Experiments in International Justice  Intro & link added Dec 31
"In Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone, the United Nations has been involved in efforts to create a new species of tribunal for the prosecution of international crimes. These are the “internationalised domestic tribunals”, grafted onto the judicial structure of a nation where massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law have taken place, or created as a treaty based organ, separate from that structure. In a radical move away from the earlier prevailing wisdom that the non-inclusion in any position of nationals of the country most affected would preserve impartiality, objectivity and neutrality, mixed panels of international and local judges have jurisdiction to try crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes." Suzannah Linton, author of Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone: Experiments in International Justice

Dec 15 IPRD: Indonesia, ETimor & The Western Powers: A Case Study  Research paper added Dec 18
"Indonesia and East Timor are prime examples of how Western foreign policy actually systematically results in the violation of human rights, the support of terror, the creation of conflict and the sabotage of peace. Policy, it seems, is formulated primarily on the basis of achieving regional strategic and economic interests, with humanitarian principles being systematically sidelined. In this context, we must view Western claims to be harbingers of humanitarianism, leading a genuine war against terrorism, with much skepticism." Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and a Researcher at the Islamic Human Rights Commission

Dec 8 ETNGOs: Commemoration Day of the Commencement of the Pacific War  Letter added Jan 24
"The Pacific War which was begun by the Imperial Nation of Japan on 8 December sixty years ago, cost around 40,000 innocent lives in East Timor during the time period of three and half years of the military occupation of the Emperor of Japan. Not only did many East Timorese die, either because they were killed by the Japanese military or the effects of the Pacific War, but there still are victims alive today with wounds, both physical and psychological, such as the comfort women (jugun ianfu), forced labourers and Heiho whose numbers are still unknown. History is very important in order to build a better future. For that reason, mistakes of the past have to be straighten out before steps can be made forward. If not, human history has already proven similar mistakes will be repeated." Representatives of 20 East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

Dec 6 NSAEB: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion, 1975-76  Article added Dec 31
"The invasion, originally scheduled for early December, was apparently delayed by the visit of Ford and Kissinger to Jakarta on December 6. Operation Komodo, a general invasion of East Timor, commenced the next day. In the following weeks a series of United Nations resolutions-supported by the U.S.-called for the withdrawal of the Indonesian troops. An estimated 20,000 Indonesian troops were deployed to the region by the end of the month. While casualty estimates vary, anywhere from 60,000-100,000 Timorese were probably killed in the first year after the violence began in 1975. In 1979 the U.S. Agency for International Development estimated that 300,000 East Timorese-nearly half the population-had been uprooted and moved into camps controlled by Indonesian armed forces. By 1980 the occupation had left more than 100,000 dead from military action, starvation or disease, with some estimates running as high as 230,000." National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 62

Nov 12 SMH: Ten Years Later, Santa Cruz Massacre Still Leaves a Scar  Article added Nov 12
"Many victims of the massacre are unaccounted for, ... Ten years after the massacre that shocked the world, memories are still raw in East Timor. When a short piece of theatre re-enacting the November 12, 1991, slaughter of more than 200 students in the Santa Cruz cemetery was shown to an audience of survivors and families on Saturday, it left them in tears. One elderly woman collapsed into bitter weeping, and even a panel of dignitaries cried openly." Jill Joliffe in Dili

Nov 12 TETA: The eve of 10th anniversary of Santa Cruz massacre  Statements added Nov 12
"On Nov. 12, 1991, hundreds of unarmed East Timorese joined a procession to Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili to mourn a Timorese youth killed two weeks before by the Indonesian military. As they walked, people unfurled banners and called out pro-independence slogans. After arriving at the cemetery, the mourners were surrounded by Indonesian soldiers, who fired on them indiscriminately, killing 273 people and wounding a further 376. Some of the wounded who were taken to the Wira Husada military hospital were killed there. The whereabouts of another 255 mourners who went missing on the day of the massacre remain unknown to this day." Free East Timor! Japan Coalition; National Christian Council; Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace; Amnesty International Japan; Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan; Japan NGO Network for Indonesia; and Pacific Asia Resource Center

Nov 3 Age: Timor's Haunted Women  Article added Nov 7
"They’re cruel! We don’t want Japanese soldiers back here!” Marta Pereira, one of around 1000 surviving ETimorese women who were used as sex slaves, or “comfort women”, by the Japanese military
“We see it as an important issue - despite their old age, these women are still suffering, ... We struggled 24 years to get Indonesian troops out of here, and now we’re being asked to accept Japanese troops. Japanese support should be in another form. It’s ugly to have troops here when no apology has yet been made.” Natalia de Jesus Cesaltino, Fokupers

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Buletin La'o Hamutuk: [PDF format]
Vol. 2, No. 6 & 7 Oktober 2001
Keadilan untuk Timor Lorosa’e?:

A Summary/Chronology of all major events:
October 2001 LHB: Justice and Accountability for East Timor: Sep 99 - Oct 01  Timeline added Nov 15

Oct 23 WPI: Indonesia at the Crossroads: U.S. Weapons Sales and Military Training  Report [75kb] added Oct 24
"As he [US President Bush] builds a coalition to fight terrorism, Bush is in danger of arming and training some of the Pacific region’s worst tools of terror—namely the Indonesian military. ... In December 1975, Indonesia invaded the new nation of East Timor, which had just declared itself independent from Portuguese colonizers. Within five years, more than 200,000 people, one-third of the pre-invasion population, had been killed, ... given the current instability [within Indonesia], it seems self evident that new shipments of weapons and military training from the United States [to Indonesia] would only pour gas on the raging fire of this 17,000-island archipelago." Frida Berrigan, author of this special report

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Laporan Seminar Sehari di Dili, Timor Lorosa'e: [PDF format]
16 Oktober 2001
Keadilan and Pertanggungjawaban di Timor Lorosa'e
Pengadilan Internasional dan Pilihan Lain
Diselenggarakan oleh: Forum NGO Nasional Timor Lorosa'e, Yayasan HAK, La'o Hamutuk, FOKUPERS, Caritas Australia, Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Okt 16 NGOs: Keadilan and Pertanggungjawaban di Timor Lorosa'e - Agenda Seminar
Laporan ditambahkan tanggal 2 Januari 2002
"Daftar Isi: Agenda Seminar; NGO Timor Bersatu Menuntut Pengadilan Internasional; Penuntutan Kejahatan Berat di Timor Lorosa'e; Proses Peradilan di Indonesia untuk Kasus Pelanggaran Berat Hak Asasi Manusia di Timor Lorosa'e 1999; Penuntutan Kejahatan di Bawah Proses Peradilan Internasional; Laporan NGO Mengenai Kegiatannya; Presentasi Kelompok Kerja; Daftar Hadir Peserta Seminar; Surat Kepada Deputi Pemerintah Transisi UNTAET; Surat dari NGO untuk Dewan Keamanan PBB; Surat Kepada Dewan Keamanan PBB dari Warga Antarbangsa di Timor Lorosa'e" Forum NGO Nasional Timor Lorosa'e, Yayasan HAK, La'o Hamutuk, FOKUPERS, Caritas Australia, Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Sep 2001 GPJ:An East Timor Village Before the Conflagration  Article added Sep 26
"Dili, a small seaport, still seems the quaint and decrepit, farthest and most forgotten outpost of an Empire that once ruled Brazil. Its streets are filled with a busy, friendly mix of Melanesian, Asian and European folk, cheerful and full of hope in spite of ubiquitous Indonesian solders and police, in spite of militias in balaclavas that roll through town in open trucks, occasionally giving the straight-arm fascist salute. ... Driving to the airport we meet a convoy of open army trucks transporting an Indonesian youth group in red berets, red-and-white flags flying, singing patriotic songs, flown in to celebrate the event. Although everyone expects trouble, no one expects what in fact happens, except, we learn later, the Indonesian military leaders who precisely planned it all." George Povey, writing for Genocide Prevention Journal

Sep 25 ASIET: US War Drive and Racism: Stop the War Against the Third World  Statement added Sep 26
"Two of the greatest acts of terrorism in the 20th century: East Timor and Indonesia: ... In East Timor 200,000 people, or one third of the population died, as a result of the war against the East Timorese people by General Suharto’s army. General Suharto attacked East Timor one day after US President Gerald Ford and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Jakarta and gave the go ahead. ... In 1965 in Indonesia, the US helped organise the mass slaughter of more than ONE MILLION workers, peasants, students and women’s activists who were trying to free Indonesia from the exploitative grip of the West. ... On September 11 in New York a group of suicide terrorists committed a barbaric crime of hate murdering more than 7,000 innocent people. That same day, George W Bush and his friends began their inhuman and cynical strategy of turning this tragedy into a war. They call it the “war against terrorism”. " Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET)

Sep 23 TAPOL: Statement on the Megawati-Bush Joint Statement  Added Oct 11
"Indonesia and the current world crisis On 19 September, President Megawati  Sukarnoputri went to Washington to meet President Bush for a state visit that had been agreed before the horrendous events in New York and Washington on 11 September when more than six thousand people of many nations met their deaths as the result of a heinous, terrorist attack. TAPOL joins in mourning those who were killed, while continuing to mourn the one million or more Indonesians who met their deaths as Suharto took power in 1965/1966. On that occasion, Washington gave unstinting support to Suharto and the Indonesian army to continue with this massacre and made no calls on the world community to fight terrorism - state terrorism - which might well have halted the massacre in its tracks. ... Megawati’s measured response shows that she knows full well that support for Washington in Indonesia is less than enthusiastic." TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Sep 6 CONG: Anniversary of Suai massacre & Atambua murders  Statements added Sep 7
"As the whole world now knows, everyone’s worst fears were realized. Two years ago, over Labor Day weekend, I learned that the home of Bishop Belo, where I had eaten dinner just two weeks earlier, had been burnt to the ground. The Bishop barely escaped with his life. The 3,000 people given refuge. in his courtyard were forced out at gunpoint by uniformed Indonesian military and militias. At that time, their fates were unknown. Thankfully, many survived and are today active in rebuilding Dili. Suai, however, was not so blessed." Rep. James P. McGovern

Sep 3 ETimorese NGOs write to Japanese PM re SDF  Letter added Sep 6
"The East Timorese people had a bitter experience with the Japanese military during the Second World War. Many East Timorese have been victims/survivors of abuse by Japanese troops, as forced laborers and sexual slaves (‘comfort women’/jugun ianfu). In December 2000, two East Timorese women testified about their experiences as sexual slaves before the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal for the Trial of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery. This testimony points to the fact that these past experiences remain as a wound in these women’s hearts, and that they have not yet found justice for their suffering." Yayasan HAK; Kdadalak Suli Mutu Institute; Gerakan Mahasiswa Pro Demokrasi; Grupo Feto Foin Sae Timor Lorosa’e; East Timor Women Against Violence; East Timor Students Solidarity Council; Sa’he Institute for Liberation; Fokupers; LBH “Ukun Rasik An”; Lao Hamutuk; Centro Desenvolvimento Economia Popular; Fundacao Haburas.

Aug 30 Time Asia: Gusmao: What Happens Next?  Interview added Aug 30
"TIME: Are you worried that TNI (Indonesia’s army) might return to East Timor with the aim of retaking the country? Gusmao: I don’t believe TNI will. The militias, yes, they could come (and) infiltrate. But in my perception, TNI is already going toward the right way. East Timor is an international issue now. If the TNI were to come again, it would be suicide. I don’t believe Mega (Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri) would allow this. I don’t believe the generals would allow this."

Aug 28 SMH: To forge a future, Timor needs justice for the past  Article from ETimor added Aug 30
"This week marks the second anniversary of the referendum in which we, the people of East Timor, voted for independence. It is the second anniversary of the violence that affected all our lives. At this time we remember all those who have suffered during our transition to independence. ... The international community should remain conscious of the legacy of 24 years of Indonesian occupation. In particular, it is important to remember the "scorched earth" withdrawal of Indonesian troops from East Timor during September and October 1999. Up to 3,000 died in 1999, untold numbers of women were raped and 500,000 persons displaced - 100,000 are yet to return. Those events live on in the minds of Timorese despite the apparent material progress of the past two years. The survivors of crimes require more than material progress. They need justice, and only justice will lead to reconciliation." Bishop Carlos Belo

Aug 28 AGE: The path to freedom by Bishop Belo  Statement added Sep 1
"Justice for the people of East Timor requires that the perpetrators of the most serious crimes be identified, and prosecuted in the same manner as a common criminal. This means a legal process is needed. ... As with apartheid, there are numerous shades of responsibility and guilt. Nonetheless, our people demand an accounting and they are entitled to have the guilt of the authors of the most serious crimes demonstrated. Where there are mitigating circumstances these need to be kept in mind." Carlos Belo, the Catholic Bishop of Dili, co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize

August 2001 LHB: Phillips Petroleum and Canberra Play an Old Game  Editorial added Aug 25
“Phillips and Canberra are attempting to hold East Timor hostage to supposed “promises” made in the immediate aftermath of a campaign of murder and destruction by the Indonesian military and its militia proxies. In doing so, they are trying to maintain a fiscal regime very favourable to the interests of the oil companies, a position gained because of Indonesia’s desire to gain international acceptance of its illegal annexation of East Timor. In this regard, Phillips and Canberra are trying to institutionalise the result of a criminal act, one in which they were partners in crimes." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Aug 26-30 2001 ISRCL: Details of International Conf: POLITICS, CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
"* The [Canberra-based] conference on the theme of “Politics, Crime and Criminal Justice” will examine the inter-relationship of politics and criminal justice systems at local, national and international levels.
* The final day of the conference will consider the restoration of criminal justice systems following the collapse of civil authority and the development of international criminal justice systems with a specific emphasis on East Timor.
* Aug 30: 09h00 – 10h30 Plenary 8: The Collapse of Order in East Timor
This plenary will examine the events relating to the crisis in East Timor surrounding the widespread violence and serious human rights violations there after the popular consultation on the future status of East Timor on 30 August 1999." International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law

Aug 21 AUSGOV: Senate debate on war crimes tribunal  Transcript added Aug 29
"During the horrific referendum period, 2,000 East Timorese were killed. During the occupation, 200,000 East Timorese were killed. How can we, as a chamber, support a war crimes tribunal into one per cent of the crimes? Are you really satisfied with that? What about the 99 per cent? Is that a matter for us to shrug our shoulders at? You simply cannot say that there is a logic to this, and we cannot leave it to Jakarta. Unfortunately, what is happening here today is that we are seeing that we cannot leave it to Canberra." [Greens] Senator Brown (Tasmania, Australia)

Aug 16 Caritas Australia programs 2000 - 2001 - Emergency Relief  Report added Aug 19
"Oecussi is an isolated enclave of East Timor, which is totally surrounded by Indonesian West Timor. ... The people of Oecussi suffered greatly in the violence of 1999, as a consequence of their isolation. Most of the population of 55,000 either fled to West Timor or went into hiding in the hills during the violent militia rampage. Interfet troops were not able to secure Oecussi until the end of October, a month after arriving in Timor. It was the scene of some of the worst massacres and destruction with a number of mass graves being discovered and 80% of houses severely damaged or destroyed. Virtually every building left standing was stripped of its roofing iron which was taken away by the militia. Most of the population of Oecussi went into hiding in the hills during the violent militia rampage. The people of Oecussi largely live in rural communities, in houses made of wood, palm fronds and grass. These houses were burnt to the ground during the militia violence. Displaced people returned to nothing. Now Oecussi remains isolated, there being no land access between the enclave and the rest of the country. Access is via United Nations flights. It is very difficult for the East Timorese population of Oecussi to gain access to these flights, priority being given to peacekeepers and United Nations personnel." Caritas

Aug 15 GLW: Indonesia: Repression the winner in Megawati cabinet Article added Aug 15
"Military generals and figures linked to the regime of former dictator Suharto have done well in the first cabinet of newly-elected President Megawati Sukarnoputri, which was announced on August 9. In a signal move, Sukarnoputri has appointed Lieutenant-General Hendropriyono as the new head of BAKIN, the state intelligence agency, a post which has cabinet minister status. ... [he] has been one of the most ambitious intelligence officers. With long experience in the commando Kopassus forces' repressive operations in various parts of Indonesia, he pioneered the technique of forming and using so-called civilian militia." Max Lane, [Australian] national chairperson, Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor

Aug 3 ChHEd: ET Emerges From Indonesia's Grip With Scars and a New University  Article added Aug 17
"Finally, on August 30, 1999, the referendum took place. Ninety-nine percent of voters turned out. Almost 80 percent chose independence. The militias responded with an orgy of destruction, wrecking and burning all they could, killing hundreds and perhaps thousands of people, and forcing a quarter of the population of 800,000 to the Indonesian half of the island, in an attempt to keep as many people as possible under Indonesian control. Some are still waiting to return." Burton Bollag

Jul 17 ABC: Australian report links Indonesian military with Timor militia  News & release added July 18
"The study, written by Australian diplomats, says the Indonesian military supported the violence of the East Timor militia with weapons, money, transport and strategic direction. It says Indonesian special forces set up a second chain-of-command to deal with the militia. ... A senior Foreign Affairs official says the book shows that Australia must be worldly wise and see that assurances from Indonesia’s military are not always reliable." Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Jul 7 ABC: TNI used media strategy to disguise militia links  Interview transcript updated July 14
" ...  it was ... in some ways a very slick PR operation. ... By simply focusing on saying that it was the militia who were destroying Dili, or the militia who were responsible for the majority of the destruction, which was simply not the case, it was very methodical carried out by TNI soldiers [Indonesian military] and you could see that. The militia simply wouldn’t have had the infrastructure trucks, planes, ships to carry out such a large-scale deportation of you know, a third of the population basically." John Martinkus, Australian journalist and author of  “A Dirty Little War - an eyewitness account of East Timor’s descent into hell"

Jun 14 CSUCS: Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - East Timor Chapter  Report added June 25
"During the final years of occupation, the Indonesian military established a number of local militia groups, ostensibly to protect pro-integration sections of the local community from pro-independence forces. According to an agreement concluded between Portugal and Indonesia on 5 May 1999 under the auspices of the UN, a popular referendum on the future status of the province was held. After an overwhelming vote for independence in the face of widespread violence and intimidation, pro-government militias went on the rampage, burning and looting property, killing hundreds of people and displacing hundred of thousands." Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

Jun 13 JUSTICE FOR EAST TIMOR  Statement added June 13
"In making the statement, we take account of the following:
1. After the announcement by former President Habibie of Indonesia in January 1999 that the East Timorese people would be allowed to decide their future status, a wave of violence was unleashed by militia groups trained and supported by the Indonesian army. Following the overwhelming vote in favour of independence on 30 August 1999, at least 1,000 people were killed, many more were injured, up to 75 per cent. of the population was displaced, including around 250,000 forcibly evacuated to Indonesian West Timor, and around 80 per cent. of the infrastructure was destroyed. In view of the systematic and planned nature of the violence, many of the crimes committed amounted to crimes against humanity.
2. Crimes against humanity are crimes of universal jurisdiction and the international community has a special responsibility to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. It has an additional moral responsibility in relation to the 1999 crimes since many of them were committed when the UN was administering the 'popular consultation' or after it had abandoned the territory despite promises that it would stay after the vote.
3. Many other gross violations of human rights, including mass murder, were committed in East Timor in the period following Indonesia's illegal invasion in 1975. Around 200,000 people - approximately one-third of the pre-invasion population - lost their lives. The international community also has a responsibility to investigate the atrocities committed during that period.
4. The report of the International Commission of Inquiry (ICI) on East Timor presented to the UN Security Council on 31 January 2000 (S/2000/59) cited evidence of "a pattern of serious violations of fundamental human rights" in relation to the 1999 crimes and recommended the establishment of an international tribunal for East Timor. It expressed "the view that ultimately the Indonesian Army was responsible for the intimidation, terror, killings, and other acts of violence…"
5. At the same time, the Indonesian Commission for Human Rights Violations in East Timor (KPP-HAM) issued a report which confirmed military involvement in and responsibility for crimes against humanity. It named as suspects 32 military and civilian personnel, including Major Generals Zacky Anwar MaKarim and Adam Damiri and militia leader Eurico Guterres. It also stated that overall responsibility for the crimes committed lay with armed forces commander in chief, General Wiranto.
6. In response to the ICI report, the UN Security Council stated on 18 February 2000 that the perpetrators should be brought to justice "as soon as possible" and that Indonesia should "institute a swift, comprehensive, effective and transparent legal process, in conformity with international standards of justice and due process of law. An earlier report by the three UN special rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, torture and violence against women published in December 1999 recommended the establishment of an international tribunal if the Indonesian process was not completed in "a matter of months".
7. There are overwhelming political and legal obstacles in the way of meaningful trials in Indonesia. Many of those obstacles have been introduced since Indonesia committed itself to bring the perpetrators to justice before its own courts. It is evident that the Indonesian authorities are neither willing nor able to administer meaningful justice in relation to the East Timor crimes. The international community's decision to allow Indonesia time to try the perpetrators has not worked and the international community's inaction can no longer be justified.
8. In August 2000, the Indonesian supreme legislative assembly provided defendants with an absolute defence to charges relating to the East Timor crimes by enacting a Constitutional amendment which introduced the principle of non-retroactivity into Indonesian law. Suspects would also appear to have a defence based on the Attorney General's failure to bring the cases to trial before a deadline set out in Indonesia's Law on Human Rights Courts. That Law is in itself flawed and falls short of international standards, particularly those relating to judicial independence and impartiality. It is widely acknowledged by those in the best position to know that very few current judges can be regarded as independent and untainted by judicial corruption. Procedural and institutional safeguards for the rights of defendants fall far short of accepted human rights standards and there is no adequate witness protection programme for traumatised victims and witnesses.
9. In November 2000, the Indonesian Attorney General, Marzuki Darusman, stated that 22 suspects implicated in crimes against humanity in East Timor would be tried in January. That has not happened. The suspects included Eurico Guterres and Major-General Adam Damiri, but significantly did not include other high-ranking officers, such as Major-General Zacky Anwar and General Wiranto, who were identified by Indonesia's KPP-HAM report as being responsible for the violence.
10. In April 2001, President Wahid issued a Presidential decree establishing a human rights court for East Timor, but limited its jurisdiction to crimes committed after the August 1999 vote. This means that many crimes committed before the vote including two of the worst atrocities - at Liquica Church on 6 April 1999 when more than 50 were killed and at the house of independence leader Manuel Carrascalao in Dili on 17 April 1999 when at least 12 were killed - will go unpunished in Indonesia. Much of the evidence of the systematic nature of the violence will remain suppressed. Moreover, the Indonesian army’s organisation of militia forces in preparation for the 'popular consultation', which began in the early part of 1999, will not fall within the court’s remit.
11. The Presidential decree was issued within days of Indonesia agreeing to a statement at the UN Commission on Human Rights which committed it to ensure accountability for crimes committed in East Timor during the whole of 1999.
12. Indonesia's inability and unwillingness to administer credible justice in relation to gross violations of human rights was demonstrated by the outcome in May 2001 of proceedings against those accused of involvement in the killing of three employees of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Atambua, West Timor in September 2000. The six accused were not charged with murder or manslaughter, but with lesser offences. As a result, their sentences ranged from only 10 to 20 months imprisonment.
13. Despite the signing of a memorandum of understanding on legal co-operation by the Indonesian Government and UNTAET in April 2000, the Indonesian authorities have refused to co-operate. On several occasions, UNTAET investigators have been refused access to witnesses they have travelled to Jakarta to interview. Indonesia's unwillingness to take action against military suspects is evident from its failure to suspend them from duty. Some of the suspects have instead been promoted, including Adam Damiri, who is now responsible for controversial troop deployments to Aceh. Militia suspects, notably Eurico Guterres, are regarded by many in Indonesia as national heroes. Guterres was convicted of a weapons offence in April 2001, but received a sentence of just six months imprisonment, which he is serving under house arrest.
14. The judicial system in East Timor has also failed to deliver justice to date. Investigations by the Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (SCIU) of UNTAET have been unacceptably slow. The SCIU initially concentrated on a select few cases and major atrocities, such as that committed at the Suai church compound on 6 September 1999 when dozens were murdered, have not been properly investigated. There are persistent reports that the SCIU's work is severely hampered by problems relating to a lack of resources, management conflicts, poor communications, the lack of clear policy guidelines, and a reluctance to expose the systematic nature of the 1999 violence. There are also allegations of political interference in the judicial process.
15. The absence of credible justice in East and West Timor is seriously undermining attempts to repatriate those among the 100,000 or so refugees remaining in West Timor who wish to return home. The failure to prosecute those responsible for serious crimes helps to fuel an environment in which intimidation is widespread, humanitarian assistance is severely hampered and refugees are unable to make free and informed decisions about where they wish to live."
Statement endorsed by 45 Groups and Organisations in Solidarity with East Timor from around the world

Major Report
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)

Apr 28 SMH: Timor Crimes  Editorial added May 3
"The Indonesian special commission [KPP HAM] 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

Major Report
Apr 25 ETAN publishes text of suppressed UN report on East Timor destruction  Release & Link to full text of report added Apr 30
"The report is now available on the internet at
The document, "Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor, January to October 1999: Their Nature and Causes," was written by former Australian diplomat James Dunn, an independent consultant to the Chief Prosecutor for the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor's (UNTAET). ETAN obtained the report from a source associated with the United Nations.
UNTAET officials do not plan to release the report, which was submitted to them in mid-February. It names some of the key Indonesian commanders most directly involved in planning and implementing the violence surrounding East Timor's UN-organized independence referendum in 1999. A UN spokesperson has said that the UN is not releasing the report out of concern that it will hinder negotiations with Indonesia.
"We believe it is crucial that those responsible for East Timor's destruction be held accountable," said John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN. "Prosecution of the Indonesian military officers responsible is necessary both for East Timor's future security and Indonesia's transition to democracy. Open discussion of the report's findings best serves all involved -- the UN, the Indonesian government and people, and the people of  East Timor." " The East Timor Action Network/U.S.

Major Report
Apr 20 SMH: James Dunn 'Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor, Jan-Oct 99'  Executive summary and recommendations
"The wave of so-called militia violence which swept over East Timor in 1999, culminating in massive deportations and destruction in September, was not the spontaneous response of those who favoured integration, but the outcome of a decision by TNI generals to counter the surge of popular support in East Timor for independence, by means of intimidation and violence, and to prevent the loss of the province to the Republic of Indonesia. The campaign of massive destruction, deportation and killings in September was essentially an operation planned and carried out by the TNI, with militia participation, to punish the people of East Timor for their vote against integration. ...
Several of the senior TNI officers mentioned in this report not only sponsored the setting up of the militia, provided training, arms, money and in some cases drugs, they also encouraged its campaign of violence, and organised the wave of destruction and deportation which occurred between 5 and 20 September. I share with the authors of Indonesia’s KPP HAM report the view that it is inconceivable that General Wiranto, then head of Indonesia’s armed forces, was not aware of the massive operation mounted by subordinate generals. The magnitude of the operation and the resources needed to conduct it, would have required at least his condonement, for it to have been carried out. ...
The wave of violence led to very serious crimes against humanity. They include: killings, including mass murder, torture, abduction, sexual assault and assault against children, as well as mass deportation, and forced dislocation. The crimes against humanity also include the massive destruction of shelter, and of services essential to the upholding of the basic rights of the East Timorese to healthcare and education. In addition there was a massive theft of the property of the people of East Timor. ...  As the result of these crimes East Timor was left without an infrastructure, with its towns and villages in ruins. Its development was in effect set back more than a generation. ...
With the continued forced detention of those East Timorese in refugee camps in West Timor who wish to return to their homeland, one of the most serious crimes against humanity being considered in this report, is in fact still being perpetrated. ...
While this report focuses on events in 1999, in the course of my enquiries persistent allegations of very serious crimes against humanity, involving mass murder, since East Timor was invaded in 1975 have been brought to my attention. I join with the KPP HAM report (recommendation 27) in calling for a thorough investigation of what transpired and of who was responsible. The most serious crimes, such as the Creras and Santa Cruz massacres, are crimes of such magnitude that they must be considered of concern to the international community as a whole."
James Dunn, independent consultant crimes investigator to the Chief Prosecutor for United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), 14 February 2001

Apr 9-11 APPEA: Galbraith: Timor Sea Petroleum  keynote conference address added May 5
"To understand the views of the Timorese, it is important to understand the recent history of the country. At the end of the 15th Century the Portuguese arrived in East Timor and for the next 500 years, the country was a neglected colonial backwater. On April 25, 1974 a peaceful revolution ended 50 years of fascist dictatorship in Portugal. The new government embarked on a policy of rapid de-colonialisation, welcomed by the African colonies but leaving the East Timorese unprepared and, as it turned out, undefended.
In spite of the abruptness of the Portuguese exit, a young and quite extraordinary generation of Timorese emerged and began to lay the foundations of a new state.
East Timor declared itself independent on November 28, 1975. On December 7, the anniversary of a day that Franklin D Roosevelt said would live in infamy, the Indonesians invaded Dili. On that first day they rounded up 150 Timorese, and the Australian journalist Roger East, marched them one by one to the edge of the Dili wharf and shot them. One of the victims was the Isabel Lobato, the 24-year-old wife of the Fretilin leader Nicolau Lobato. She was taken to the wharf with her infant son in her arms; and only at the last moment was the baby spared.
Houses along the waterfront became torture centres and execution sites. Two months ago, the IMF representative in Dili dug a hole in his back yard for a septic tank. Six bodies were found from those terrible days. In all up to 200,000 Timorese were murdered or otherwise died during the 24 years of Indonesian occupation.
Indonesian’s occupation of East Timor was condemned by the United Nations Security Council and by the United Nations General Assembly, which affirmed East Timor’s right to self-determination. Only one country, Australia, ever recognised the incorporation of East Timor into Indonesia.
That recognition was, of course, an essential precondition for the negotiation of the Timor Gap Treaty."
Ambassador Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea, East Timor Transitional Government

Feb 22 FCatholic: Bishop Belo to President Bush  Letter & Background
"Mr. President, you, more than most, are in a position to be a force for good in the world. Here I would make a few suggestions about the way in which the power and prestige of the United States may be directed that would be of great help to my people in East Timor. ...
You are no doubt aware of the untold suffering East Timor has experienced since 1975, and it has taken all the spiritual strength that my God-fearing people have been able to summon. In the first five years after Indonesian troops invaded, about one third of our original population of less than 700,000 -- perhaps more than 200,000 people -- perished from the combined effects of Indonesia's occupation. A heartbreaking situation continued over the years. In 1991, hundreds of East Timorese, primarily young people, were
massacred after Indonesians troops opened fire in the Santa Cruz cemetery in our capital city. We were hit by still more tragedy in 1999. First, elements of the Indonesian army and its local militia cohorts killed many East Timorese supporters of independence in the months leading up to a United Nations-sponsored election held on Aug. 30, 1999. Then, when nearly 80 percent of the registered voters of East Timor opted for independence after nearly a quarter-century of Indonesian occupation, army and militias unleashed an orgy of violence. Before and after the ballot, thousands were killed, including priests, nuns and seminarians, and many homes and
buildings were razed. ...
the presence of the international peace-keeping force under U.N. auspices will be badly needed in East Timor for the foreseeable future to guard against border attacks by militias and Indonesian forces, and to ensure that these forces do not unleash further violence or undertake other actions to prevent East Timor from recovering. My people have been traumatized by the conflict of the past 25 years, and urgently need to live in peace."
Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo of Dili, East Timor, to President George W. Bush.
"Bishop Belo was awarded the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, the only Catholic bishop ever to receive the honor." Editor, Florida Catholic

Feb 12 Xanana: Symposium on “Reconciliation, Tolerance, Human Rights and Elections”  Speech added Feb 15
"The Timorese People, by nature, are peaceful and tolerant. A magnificent example of this trait could be seeing in the way the Timorese acted and reacted, in the way they co-existed with the invaders for 25 years and above all in the last year, which was a decisive period of the struggle leading to the referendum." President Xanana

Feb 7 NRP: Chomsky/Soares: Breaking Free: East Timor's Quest for Independence  Radio program added June 26
"For East Timorese people, independence came with great costs. Refugees are still languishing in camps in West Timor, and though they won the right to autonomy after the elections in October 1999, many people are asking why international agencies such as the United Nations continue to hold decision-making power instead of the East Timorese themselves. On this program, we take a look at intervention in East Timor." National Radio Project

Nov 18 2000 Lancet: Torture & trauma in post-conflict East Timor Added June 24
"The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), an independent international health professional organisation, carried out a national psychosocial needs assessment in East Timor in June and July this year. We aimed to assess the extent of `torture and trauma and the health impact it had on the population. ... 998 (97%) respondents said they had experienced at least one traumatic event." International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)

Aug 30 2000 IHT: A Year Later, East Timor's People Are Still Waiting for Justice  Article added June 30
"For a few hours last Aug. 30, I felt the thrill of freedom. With tens of thousands of fellow East Timorese who braved threats from the Indonesian military and its militia proxies, I cast my ballot for independence in the United Nations-run referendum. Nearly eight out of 10 did likewise, repudiating Indonesia's illegal annexation of East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, in 1976. But all too soon the feeling of exhilaration had turned to horror as those who wanted East Timor to remain part of Indonesia unleashed a campaign of killing and destruction. On Sept. 5, Indonesian soldiers and militia surrounded the human rights office where my colleagues and I were working. They fired their weapons into the building, forcing us to cower on the floor." Aderito de Jesus Soares, founder, East Timor Jurists Association

Sept 27 1999 Noam Chomsky: East Timor Retrospective - An overview and lessons  Analysis
"Terror and destruction began early in the year [1999]. The TNI forces responsible have been described as "rogue elements" in the West, a questionable judgment. There is good reason to accept Bishop Belo's assignment of direct responsibility to commanding General Wiranto in Jakarta.
It appears that the militias have been managed by elite units of Kopassus, the "crack special forces unit" that had "been training regularly with US and Australian forces until their behaviour became too much of an embarrassment for their foreign friends," veteran Asia correspondent David Jenkins reports. These forces are "legendary for their cruelty," Benedict Anderson observes: in East Timor they "became the pioneer and exemplar for every kind of atrocity," including systematic rapes, tortures and executions, and organization of hooded gangsters. They adopted the tactics of the U.S. Phoenix program in South Vietnam that killed tens of thousands of peasants and much of the indigenous South Vietnamese leadership, Jenkins writes, as well as "the tactics employed by the Contras" in Nicaragua, following lessons taught by their CIA mentors.
The state terrorists were "not simply going after the most radical pro-independence people but going after the moderates, the people who have influence in their community." "It's Phoenix," a well-placed source in Jakarta reported: the aim is "to terrorise everyone" -- the NGOs, the Red Cross, the UN, the journalists."
Noam Chomsky

1999 Gunn: Timor Loro Sae: 500 Years - Wartime Timor: 1942-45  Book extract added July 10
"Many Timorese including liurai paid with their lives [at the hands of Japanese military 1942-45] either for standing neutral or for alleged support of Australian guerrillas. ... The number of Timorese who died during the war is impossible to calculate with precision but is of the order of 40-70,000 out of a total prewar population of around 450,000. The disruption to native agriculture and the breakdown of prewar society stemming from the harsh system of food collection and corvees imposed by the Japanese inevitably led to famine and other hardships, including debilitating disease. ... The issues of Japanese wartime compensation including the claims of so-called "comfort women" or sexual slavery in Timor first became public in 1997 but only in the Macau media where it was taken up by Jose Ramos-Horta speaking on behalf of the Timorese people." Geoffrey C. Gunn, author, Timor Loro Sae: 500 Years

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