BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor     home | crimes | search

BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Background info on War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity 
(Crimes targeting East Timorese people) 

Updated 6 June 2006
See also: War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity


Historical Overviews

Japanese invasion and occupation of East Timor: World War II 1942-45

Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor: 1975-1999
* Invasion Day: 7 Dec 1975
* Full scale attacks: 1975-79
* Santa Cruz Massacre: 12 Nov 1991
* Before & after the Independence Ballot: Jan - Oct 1999
  -- Report of (Indonesian) Investigative Commission: KPP-HAM
  -- Report of UNTAET Expert: James Dunn
* Torture & Trauma 1975-99

Archive: all articles prior to 22 Aug 2004

Historical Overviews

The book:
East Timor: A rough passage to independence

James Dunn
Publisher: Longueville Books, PO Box 102, Double Bay, New South Wales 1360, Australia
| | (Double Bay, 2003)
(ISBN 1 920681 03 5, 3rd ed. includes index, 399pp)
[Time period covered: 1511 until December 2002]

27 Sept 1999 ZNet: Noam Chomsky: East Timor Retrospective - An overview and lessons
"It is not easy to write with feigned calm and dispassion about the events that have been unfolding in East Timor. Horror and shame are compounded by the fact that the crimes are so familiar and could so easily have been terminated. That has been true ever since Indonesia invaded in December 1975, relying on U.S. diplomatic support and arms -- used illegally, but with secret authorization, even new arms shipments sent under the cover of an official "embargo." There has been no need to threaten bombing or even sanctions. It would have sufficed for the U.S. and its allies to withdraw their active participation, and to inform their close associates in the Indonesian military command that the atrocities must be terminated and the territory granted the right of self-determination that has been upheld by the United Nations and the International Court of Justice. We cannot undo the past, but should at least be willing to recognize what we have done, and to face the moral responsibility of saving the remnants and providing ample reparations, a pathetic gesture of compensation for terrible crimes." Noam Chomsky

12 Feb 2001 Xanana: Symposium on “Reconciliation, Tolerance, Human Rights and Elections”
"The history of the Timorese People for independence against the Portuguese control had many struggles reaching its highest point with the great rebellion of Manufahi, in 1912. ... The Japanese invasion, from 1942 to 1945, was another test to the courage of the Timorese people which concurrently managed to live with the invaders while maintaining a determination to fight its presence. ... 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 [Indonesian] 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 Gusmao

22 Feb 2001 Florida Catholic: Bishop Belo to President Bush 
"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. ... 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

15 Dec 2001 IPRD: Indonesia, East Timor & The Western Powers: A Case Study 
Research paper
"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

22 Dec 2001 Linton: Cambodia, East Timor & Sierra Leone: Experiments in International Justice 
"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

23 Oct 2001 WPI: Indonesia at the Crossroads: U.S. Weapons Sales and Military Training 
"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

Japanese invasion and occupation of East Timor: World War II 1942-45

1999 Gunn: Timor Loro Sae: 500 Years - Wartime Timor: 1942-45 
"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

3 Sep 2001 East Timorese NGOs write to Japanese PM re SDF
"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.

8 Dec 2001 ETNGOs: Commemoration Day of the Commencement of the Pacific War 
"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)

3 Nov 2001 Age: Timor's Haunted Women 
"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

Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor: 1975-1999

* Invasion Day: 7 Dec 1975

Solidamor: History of East Timor - Indonesia Invades

6 Dec 2001 NSAEB: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion, 1975-76
"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

"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…"
Statement endorsed by 45 Groups and Organisations in Solidarity with East Timor from around the world

21 Aug 2001 AUSGOV: Senate debate on war crimes tribunal
"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)

25 Sep 2001 ASIET: US War Drive and Racism: Stop the War Against the Third World
"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. The Australian government followed suit, providing war equipment and training for the slaughter. Both Liberal-National and ALP governments supported Suharto’s mass slaughter in East Timor. The British government and companies also supplied much of the weapons and planes." Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET)

* Full Scale Attacks: 1975-79

15 Feb 2002 SMH: Blue Book of horrors makes a diplomatic time bomb
"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

* Santa Cruz Massacre: 12 Nov 1991

12 Nov 2001 TETA: The eve of 10th anniversary of Santa Cruz massacre 
"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

12 Nov 2001 SMH: Ten Years Later, Santa Cruz Massacre Still Leaves a Scar
"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

* Before & after the Independence Ballot: January - October 1999

17 Jul 2001 ABC: TNI used media strategy to disguise militia links
Interview transcript
" ...  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"

17 Jul 2001 ABC: Australian report links Indonesian military with Timor militia
"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

28 Aug 2001 SMH: To forge a future, Timor needs justice for the past
"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

28 Aug 2001 AGE: The path to freedom by Bishop Belo 
"Up to 3000 people died in 1999, untold numbers of women were raped and 500,000 people displaced. About 100,000 are yet to return. Those events live on in the minds of Timorese despite the 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." Carlos Belo, the Catholic Bishop of Dili, co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize

6 Sep 2001 CONG: Anniversary of Suai massacre & Atambua murders 
"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 2001 GPJ: An East Timor Village Before the Conflagration
"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

-- Report of (Indonesian) Investigative Commission
into Human Rights Violations in East Timor: KPP-HAM

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)

28 Apr 2001 SMH Editorial: Timor Crimes 
"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

-- Report of UNTAET Expert on Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor: James Dunn

14 Feb 2001 James Dunn: Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor, Jan-Oct 1999
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, UNTAET Expert on Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor

25 Apr 2001 ETAN publishes text of suppressed UN report on East Timor destruction
"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.

* Torture & Trauma 1975-99

18 Nov 2000 Lancet: Torture & trauma in post-conflict East Timor
"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. ... 97% of respondents said they had experienced at least one traumatic event. The five most common events were: direct exposure to combat situation 76%, lack of shelter 64%, and ill health with no access to medical care 60%. 34% were classified as having PTSD ... Death of the father or mother was a common occurrence, reported by 31% and 24% respondents respectively, and 14% had lost their spouse during the conflict period. ... Torture appears to have been widespread. 39% respondents said that they had been tortured, but a larger number, 57%, said they had experienced at least one of the six forms of torture included in our study instrument." International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)

22 Nov 2000 KY: Danish survey highlights trauma, torture in E. Timor
"Many people in East Timor have been tortured during the island's recent violent history and are now suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a survey conducted Copenhagen-based International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). The study found that 57% of 1,033 East Timorese residents questioned in June and July this year said they had experienced some form of torture. ... The organization said too often the psychological needs of post-conflict countries are ignored at the expense of the physical rebuilding of a nation." Kyodo News Service

April 2005 JSMP: Torture and Transitional Justice in Timor Leste
"Executive Summary:
This report provides a snapshot of how the serious violation of torture is addressed within transitional justice mechanisms in Timor Leste; specifically, how torture is defined, investigated and indicted by the Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) and how the Special Panels for Serious Crimes (SPSC) respond to the torture cases that come before them. It draws on documentation released by the Serious Crimes Unit and the Special Panels for Serious Crimes. It also presents data gathered through interviews with staff of those organizations as well as with survivors of torture, victims’ families, CAVR staff and workers of non-governmental organizations in Timor Leste.
The report finds that, although torture was extensively used during the Indonesian occupation, the serious crimes process in Timor Leste has failed to effectively investigate and prosecute this crime against humanity. The SCU has narrowed its mandate to such an extent that torture charges are secondary to counts of murder and rape. Further, all 26 of those who have faced torture charges in court have been Timorese. In processing low-level militia members who do not bear the greatest responsibility for serious crimes, the transitional justice system has failed to bring Indonesian commanding officers to trial. ...
Finally, it notes that the current judicial approach to torture goes against the human rights standards that are established through various human rights instruments and bodies. By law, torture survivors should receive acknowledgement, justice and reparation for the harms inflicted upon them. The attempts made by the serious crimes process in Dili has failed to effectively pursue these ends. Torture survivors have, in response, called for an international tribunal to meet their needs."
Elizabeth Stanley, Institute of Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

April 2005 JSMP: Penyiksaan dan Keadilan Pada Masa Transisi di Timor Leste
"Ringkasan Eksekutif:
Laporan ini memberikan gambaran sekilas tentang bagaimana tindak pidana berat penyiksaan ditangani oleh mekanisme-mekanisme peradilan pada masa transisi di Timor Leste; secara khsusus, bagaimana penyiksaan didefinisikan, diinvestigasi dan didakwa oleh Kantor Kejahatan Berat (SCU) dan bagaimana Panel Khusus untuk Kejahatan Berat (SPSC) menangani kasus penyiksaan yang dibawa ke hadapannya. Laporan ini mengacu pada dokumentasi yang dikeluarkan oleh SCU dan SPSC. Laporan ini juga menyampaikan data yang dikumpulkan melalui wawancara dengan staf dari organisasi tersebut, serta korban penyiksaan, keluarga korban, staf CAVR dan para pekerja dari NGO di Timor Leste.
Laporan ini berkesimpulan bahwa, walaupun penyiksaan dilakukan secara luas selama periode penjajahan Indonesia, proses kejahatan berat di Timor Leste gagal untuk menginvestigasi dan menuntut secara efektif kejahatan terhadap kemanusiaan ini. SCU begitu membatasi mandatnya sehingga tuntutan penyiksaan tidak sepenting tuntutan pembunuhan dan perkosaan. Lagipula, ke-26 orang yang dituntut atas kejahatan penyiksaan adalah warga negara Timor Leste. Sistem peradilan pada masa transisi hanya menuntut anggota milisi yang berpangkat rendah yang tidak mempunyai tanggungjawab besar atas kejahatan berat, dan maka sistem peradilan tersebut gagal untuk mengadili para komandan Indonesia. ...
Akhirnya, laporan ini mencatat bahwa pendekatan yang digunakan oleh pengadilan-pengadilan pada saat ini bertentangan dengan standar-standar hak asasi manusia yang ditetapkan dalam berbagai instrumen dan badan hak asasi manusia. Menurut hukum, para korban penyiksaan harus mendapatkan pengakuan, keadilan dan kompensasi untuk rasa sakit yang mereka alami. Usaha yang dilakukan oleh proses kejahatan"
Program Pemantauan Sistem Yudisial (JSMP)

To add items about crimes commited against the East Timorese people send to BACK DOOR's email:
Postal address: BACK DOOR PO Box 5005 Lyneham ACT 2602 AUSTRALIA
Receive FREE weekly email Web-updates: email and include the words "Subscribe BACK DOOR" in the message header. 
BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor 
     home | crimes | search
Website: Email: