BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor  home    February news

East Timor: Reconciliation Commission to Cover 1974-1999 Period

28 Feb-20:03


     The transition government of East Timor approved Wednesday a proposal to set up a truth and reconciliation commission, to look into abuses committed during the period between April 25, 1974, and October 25, 1999.

     The package, which has been sent for review to the National Council (transition parliament), specifies that individual witnesses will be called before the said commission to testify about their experiences during the quarter century between the dates of the Portuguese Revolution and the establishment of UNTAET (the UN Transition Administration of East Timor).

     East Timor, a former Portuguese [sic] colony, was invaded and occupied by Indonesia in Dec. 1975. The occupation lasted until the autumn of 1999, when the last Indonesian troops left the half-island several weeks after the Aug. 30 independence plebiscite.

     A transition cabinet communique sent to Lusa Wednesday specified that the proposed commission would oversee a "process of community reconciliation to deal with less serious crimes that are not covered by the judicial system".

     The UN and East Timorese leaders have previously stated that crimes not held to be "blood crimes" may be considered by a national reconciliation commission that would likewise allow victims to "tell their stories".


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