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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Calls for International War Crimes Tribunal
Pengadilan Internasional
Demande la tribunal pénal international:

Part 2: related issues

A collection of recent reports, articles and news calling for the establishment of an International War Crimes Tribunal to try war crimes and crimes against humanity. 


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Part 2 up-dated: Feb 14, 2002

NEW = Added to BACK DOOR Website since last Monday's Emailout


Contents:

Part 1: calls

Part 2: related issues  [this page]
* Blocking or slowing its formation
* More reasons for an International War Crimes Tribunal
* East Timor's Judicial System
* Other related info



Part 2: related issues


Blocking or slowing its formation

Portuguese:
Jan 25 OTL: A Indonésia arrasta o julgamento dos crimes cometidos em Timor Leste
Reportagem de 14 fevereiro 2002
"Quanto tempo a comunidade internacional vai conceder ao tribunal para apresentar resultados? Já passaram mais de dois anos sobre os factos. A total ausência de balizas favorece a estratégia de arrastamento. ... O julgamento não é vingança: “é indispensável para abrir caminho a uma verdadeira reconciliação em Timor Leste” afirmou a comissão de inquérito das NU, mas também para “encorajar as reformas democráticas na Indonésia e ajudar a evitar que os oficiais das FA responsáveis pela destruição de Timor Leste, a maior parte dos quais continuam a ter prestígio e poder, continuem a cometer atrocidades contra os cidadãos indonésios” (carta de 30 congressistas americanos a Colin Powell, 30-1-01)." Observatório Timor Leste

Jan 25 ETO: Indonesia delays East Timor atrocities trials  Report added Feb 14
"How much time is the international community going to give the [Indonesia’s ad hoc] tribunal to come up with results? Over two years have already elapsed since the atrocities occurred. A total absence of time limits serves to encourage further delay tactics. ... The trial is not an exercise in vengeance, but rather essential: “to open the way forward to genuine reconciliation in East Timor” (UN Commission of Inquiry), and “to encourage democratic reforms in Indonesia and help prevent the armed forces officers responsible for the devastation in East Timor, most of whom are still in positions of prestige and authority, from continuing to commit atrocities against other Indonesian citizens” (letter from 30 members of the US Congress to Colin Powell, 30-1-01)." East Timor Observatory

Jan 25 JP: End game in East Timor  Editorial added Jan 26
"Successive administrations since 1999 -- from presidents B.J. Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid to Megawati Soekarnoputri—for some reason used various tactics to delay the prosecutions. But the world has waited long enough, and there is no way Indonesia can hope to escape from this international obligation forever." Jakarta Post Editorial

Jan 11 JP: ETimor’s patience wears thin over rights tribunal  News added Jan 15
"The East Timor transitional government is considering turning to an international tribunal due to the repeated delays in the trial of officers allegedly involved in the 1999 human rights abuses in the former territory. Philipe Rodriguez of the East Timor Public Administration’s Department of Foreign Affairs said in Jakarta on Thursday that the East Timor people’s wish to see the perpetrators taken to the court of justice has not materialized." Tiarma Siboro, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Nov 15 KairosCanada: Appeal for Tribunal  Action added Nov 15
“I am concerned that no one has been brought to trial in Indonesia for these abuses. Despite international pressure, including from Canada, the Indonesian government has continued to delay justice and has not fulfilled many of the commitments it has made to the international community. The Indonesian justice system is unable to deal with serious abuses such as those which took place in East Timor." Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Oktober 2001 BLH: Keadilan untuk Timor Lorosa’e?
Laporan ditambahkan tanggal 2 Januari 2002
"Pada Tais Timor terbitan bulan September 2000, UNTAET memaparkan secara ringkas “dua puluh keberhasilan besar”-nya, yang tidak menyebutkan sesuatu yang berkaitan dengan pengadilan kejahatan berat. (“Sistem peradilan dan hukum” yang mereka sebutkan, hanya berurusan dengan kejahatan “biasa”.) Diamnya UNTAET mengenai yang telah dicapai dalam hal ini mencerminkan apa yang secara luas dipandang sebagai tidak adanya kemajuan di bidang ini. Tentu saja, ini bukan semata persoalan UNTAET, tetapi lebih merupakan hasil dari kurangnya kemauan politik pada pihak Indonesia dan anggota-anggota Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa yang paling besar kekuatannya untuk menjamin bahwa Timor Lorosa’e memperoleh keadilan. Tetapi, ada kelemahan serius dalam upaya UNTAET untuk menjamin keadilan bagi kejahatan hak asasi manusia yang dilakukan dalam konteks invasi dan pendudukan Indonesia." La'o Hamutuk: Institut Pemantau dan Analisis Rekonstruksi Timor Timur

October 2001 LHB: Solidarity and International Justice  Article added Nov 9
"A pattern has evolved whereby Indonesia has been doing just enough to prevent the establishment of an international tribunal while actually doing little to advance genuine justice. Foreign governments eager to resume military cooperation with Jakarta, or reluctant to act effectively to advance justice, are all too keen to accept symbolic or minor developments in Indonesia as progress. President Megawati has continued this tactic." Paul Barber, TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

October 2001 LHB: An International Tribunal for East Timor?  Article added Nov 9
"The Indonesian and UNTAET systems are deeply flawed; much of the support for an international tribunal is based on their perceived failure. However, there is an assumption that no more can be done to improve their efficacy. This may be true generally in respect to Indonesia; certainly in the short and medium term it is reasonable to expect that Jakarta will continue to avoid a judicial examination of the role of senior officials, or to transfer them to an alternative jurisdiction. A restructured Serious Crimes Unit, on the other hand, has the potential to achieve many of the goals that supporters of an international tribunal seek." Jon Cina, [until recently] Case Manager and Legal Advisor to UNTAET’s Serious Crimes Unit, [previously] war crimes investigator in Kosovo & working at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Oct 30 UNSC: ET women: ‘Arria formula’ meeting  Speech added Nov 2
"Because Indonesia is unlikely to successfully prosecute those who ordered and implemented the invasion, occupation and destruction of East Timor from 1975 on, the Security Council must take immediate action to create an International Tribunal for East Timor to ensure that those most responsible for these crimes are brought to justice." Natércia Godinho-Adams, on behalf of East Timorese women’s organizations

Oct 29 APCET letter to UN Security Council on International Tribunal  Letter added Oct 31
"However, the United Nations seems to be waiting for the Indonesian justice system to bring the perpetrators of the crimes to trial.  But we believe that justice for East Timor under the Indonesia system is far from possible, if at all. Indonesia has so far only succeeded in creating the Indonesian Commission of Inquiry (KPP HAM) and has only organized recently the ad hoc court on East Timor." Mr. Augusto N. Miclat, Jr., Coordinator, APCET, the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor [The coalition includes 17 affiliates from Asia-Pacific countries]

October 2001 LHB: Justice for East Timor?  Article added Oct 30
"In the September 2001 issue of Tais Timor, UNTAET outlines its “twenty major achievements,” which do not include anything related to Serious Crimes prosecution. (Their claimed “functioning judicial and legal system” deals only with “ordinary” crimes.) UNTAET’s silence about its achievements reflects what is widely seen as insufficient progress in this area. Of course, this is a problem not only of UNTAET’s making, but more importantly a result of the lack of political will on the part of Indonesia and the United Nations’ most powerful members to ensure that East Timor sees justice. Nevertheless, there are serious shortcomings with UNTAET’s efforts to ensure justice for human rights crimes committed in the context of Indonesia’s invasion and occupation." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

October 2001 LHB: UNTAET and “Serious Crimes”  Article added Oct 30
"Since the arrival of UNTAET, one of its most critical responsibilities has been to initiate and achieve accountability for some of those who perpetrated crimes against the people of East Timor during 1999. ... many East Timorese and internationals here feel that investigations and prosecution of Serious Crimes are moving much too slowly, and that the goals set by the SCU fail to include the systematic and coordinated nature of the atrocities, or to explore crimes committed before 1999. Many believe that the problems stem from several principal factors: mismanagement, incompetence, lack of vision, inadequate resources, and insufficient political will within the international community." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Oct 24 ET NGOs: Urgent Steps Needed to Establish Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"Where the Serious Crimes Unit [UNTAET] lacked jurisdiction to prosecute those Indonesia military and government officials implicated in the serious violation of humanitarian law occurring in East Timor, faith was placed by the international community in the justice process within Indonesia itself. At this point, we all must face the reality that, likewise, this process is not capable of holding those responsible to account. After initial glimmers of hope, subsequent political turmoil and instability, and ensuing continual revisions to the mandate and scope of any Ad Hoc Tribunal which is to be establish, has clearly demonstrated that Indonesia is incapable and unwilling to take responsibility for prosecuting those culpable for the crimes against humanity in East Timor." Yayasan HAK; Lao Hamutuk; FOKUPERS; Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace and Development Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI); Working Group for Electoral Education (KKPP); Judicial System Monitoring Project (JSMP); East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSC); Student Solidarity Council of Oe-Cusse; Yayasan Timor Nabilan; Nove-Nove Survivers Group (Maliana); NGO Forum

Oct 24 Internationals in ET write UN Security Council on Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"We are writing as citizens of many countries who currently reside in East Timor (Timor Lorosa’e), working with a variety of organizations. ... After two years, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor is winding down. East Timor will be independent soon. It would compound the crimes already committed here if this tiny, poor nation which has endured so much terror is left on its own to cope with criminals who still hold positions of power in its huge neighbor. The period of U.N. responsibility for East Timor must leave a legacy of justice and accountability if East Timor is to succeed as a member of the world community." J Conway (Asia-Pacific Support Collective); Sr. B Guhit (Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace & Development); J Gunter; C Serreira e Freire (Oikos); M Hachisuka (La’o Hamutuk); T Irawati (FORTILOS); V Joshi (LH); N Katjasungkana (FORTILOS); I Lempp; J Newton (Caritas Australia); S Martin (CA); H McCaughey (Australian Volunteers International); C Ranheim (Judicial Systems Monitoring Programme); S Rosa; C Scheiner (International Federation for East Timor); P Sexton (LH); A de Sousa (LH); J Sternberg

Oct 16 FORTILOS/HAK: Justice Process in Indonesia re ET 1999  Article added Nov 15
" ... one can assume from the beginning of August 2000 on, that certain names will be deleted from the list to be investigated by the Attorney General. ... The largest obstacle for the Indonesian National Court of Justice is that the suspects of serious human rights crimes are Indonesian military (TNI) officers ... TNI is a very dominant element in the regime that is currently in power in Indonesia. ... The Ad Hoc Human Rights Court itself is seen in TNI circles, including by General Wiranto, as a step to avoid the establishment of an International Tribunal." By Nug Katjasungkana, Solidarity Forum for East Timor in Indonesia (FORTILOS) and Yayasan HAK, Foundation of Law, Human Rights, and Justice

Oct 12 ABC: Justice no closer for victims of atrocities in East Timor  News added Oct 13
“It turns out I was mistaken in implying a logical outcome to this M.O.U. [Memorandum of Understanding between the U-N and Indonesia] In practise, the government of the Republic of Indonesia has reneged on this M.O.U. meaning that there has not been any transfer of evidence and witnesses let alone suspects to be tried by the special panel.” Convenor of the East Timor Jurists Association, Aderito Soares

Oct 10 CSM: A Long Wait for Justice in East Timor  Article added Oct 11
"Pressure to try human rights cases against the Indonesian military ebbs amid counterterror push. ... with a war on global terrorism bringing potential US allies across Asia in from the cold, Indonesia’s commanders may never be held accountable. One sign of that thaw is the US government’s decision last month to resume low-level military ties with Indonesia, which had been suspended over the East Timor violence. The resumption of ties came as Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri met with President Bush to voice support for the US-led counterterror campaign. ... Given the push to cement links with moderate Islamic nations, opponents in Congress may find it hard to refuse further military cooperation with the world’s most populous Muslim country, despite its tarnished record." Simon Montlake, Jakarta, Indonesia

Sep 6 ETAN: Grassroots & Congressional Action Mark Anniversary of Timor Massacres  Release added Sep 6
“We are deeply disappointed that the Bush administration has not made a priority of a just resolution to East Timor’s refugee crisis or even publicly called for an international tribunal, ... We are disturbed by the administration’s stated plans to renew ties with the Indonesian military, especially now as this repressive force continues its brutal tactics against civilians throughout Indonesia.” Diane Farsetta, East Timor Action Network (ETAN)’s Field Organizer

Aug 22 AAP: Australian Senate rejects Timor war crimes tribunal  News added Aug 23
"The Senate has rejected a proposal for an international war crimes tribunal covering the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Instead, it backed Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri’s moves to prosecute those committing atrocities during the 1999 independence ballot. ... But Labor’s Peter Cook won government support to change the motion to back Indonesian prosecutions and to note the UN Security Council’s lack of support for an international tribunal." AAP

Aug 21 AUSGOV: Senate debate on war crimes tribunal  Transcript added Aug 29
"The opposition are very well aware that one of the reasons that there has not been further progress on this in the United Nations is because Australia has not been advocating with strength, vigour and determination that the UN establish an international war crimes tribunal into the death of those 200,000 people, the ransacking of their country and the indescribable cruelty to which Senator Bourne just referred." [Greens] Senator Brown (Tasmania, Australia)

Aug 8 TAPOL: Justice For East Timor Still Unlikely Under Megawati  Release added Aug 10
“President Megawati appears to be continuing a pattern established by the Wahid administration, which involved doing just enough to prevent the establishment of an international tribunal without making any real attempt to institute a genuine national process of justice. She is likely to keep a tight rein on what can be investigated and tried so that the whole truth about the East Timor tragedy does not come out. Without the prospect of credible trials in Indonesia, international justice must now take its course.” Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Jul 19 Newsday: UN Is Weak-Willed in Fighting Genocide  Article added July 25
"The East Timorese were also promised a UN war crimes tribunal in the wake of their 1999 election. Although the decision to end 24 years of Indonesian occupation triumphed at the polls, when pro-Indonesian militias waged war on civilians, the UN fled. The Australian-led military response came after a thousand civilians had been killed, 70 percent of the nation’s buildings had been destroyed and 200,000 civilians had been moved to concentration camps in West  Timor. Despite initial threats by the UN of a war-crimes tribunal, the Indonesian government agreed to try its own war-crimes suspects. After one militia leader was sentenced to house arrest, one UN official remarked, “The sentences make a mockery of the international community’s insistence that justice be done in this horrific case.” " Peter H Maguire, author of “Law and War: An American Story”

Portuguese:
Jun 18 OTL: Transição e processo eleitoral  Report added June 23
"A UNTAET fez da reconciliação um dos temas principais da campanha eleitoral, mas, enquanto todos reconhecem que não haverá reconciliação duradoura sem justiça, ou no mínimo sem o reconhecimento dos crimes e um pedido de perdão, as Nações Unidas não consagraram aos inquéritos judiciais os meios necessários e recuam perante a convocação de um tribunal internacional. Querem a reconciliação ou o esquecimento? Querem estabelecer uma democracia duradoura ou adormecer os Timorenses até que as Nações Unidas possam anunciar o sucesso da sua missão?" Observatório Timor Leste

Jun 18 ETO: Transition and the electoral process  Report added June 23
"UNTAET made reconciliation one of the electoral campaign’s key issues but, while everyone realises there can be no lasting reconciliation without justice, or at least without admission of the crimes and a plea for forgiveness, the UN has not provided the judicial enquiries with the resources they need, and backs away from calls for an international tribunal. Does it want reconciliation, or for what has happened to be forgotten? Does it want to establish a lasting democracy, or to numb the Timorese until the UN can pronounce that its mission has been successful?" East Timor Observatory

May 16 SBS: See No Evil  TV documentary added May 18
"Halfway through the operation here in Maliana, around October-November, things had changed strategically. There was a new Government, a new Wahid Government and the position was ... in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [Australia], was “We don‘t want our long-term relationship with Indonesian affected by a war crimes tribunal.” That was how it was explained to me back in Australia. ‘Cause I was still pretty pissed off by the whole bloody, ah, by the whole thing." Captain Andrew Plunkett, Australian Army senior military intelligence officer in charge of gathering evidence of atrocities committed post-ballot

May 9 GLW: UN lets Indonesian military off the hook  Article with comments from BACK DOOR updated May 16
"UNTAET’s public stance on this issue was that East Timor did not require an international crimes tribunal such as those on Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. UNTAET argued that Indonesia should be “given the chance” to try the perpetrators of the killings and destruction in East Timor in 1999. ... Without organised, consistent pressure from the East Timorese people and their international supporters, those who laid waste to East Timor will get away with their crimes unpunished." Vanya Tanaja

Tetum:
Abríl 2001 BLH: Komisaun As ONU nian ba Direitu Emar nian (UNHRC) fasilita impunidade Indonejia  Editorial added July 21
"Iha loron 6 fulan fevereiru 2001, Mary Robinson, nudar portavos ONU nian ba direitu emar nian, fo sai relatoriu ida kona ba situasaun direitu emar nian iha Timor Loro Sa’e. Relatoriu ne’e nudar progresu hosi sorumutu UNHRC tinan liu ba. Iha tempu neba, ulun komisaun nian rekere atu relatoriu hosi portavos komisaun ba soromutu 2001 iha Genebra. Relatoriu ne’e tenke fo sai informasaun no analiza kona ba buat sira nebe iha relasaun ho investigasaun no prosekuzaun kona ba hahalok a’at hasoru humanidade nebe hala’o iha Timor Loro Sa’e durante Indonejia okupa teretoriu ne’e. Kona ba ne’e, relatoriu ne’e falha bo’ot. ... Povu Timor Loro Sa’e – hanesa mos sira seluk nebe funu ba demokrasia no dereitu emar nian iha Indonejia laran – merese atu simu diak liu tan : lia los no justica." La’o Hamutuk, Instituto Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitoring Reconstrucao

April 2001 LHB: Report from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Facilitates Indonesia's Impunity  Editorial
"On 6 February 2001, Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, released a report on the situation of human rights in East Timor. The report is the outgrowth of last year's meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). At that time, the chairperson requested that the High Commissioner report to the 2001 meeting -- currently taking place in Geneva.  The report should provide information on and analysis of matters relating to the investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity committed in East Timor during Indonesia's occupation of the territory. In this regard, it fails miserably. ... The people of East Timor -- as well as all those struggling for democracy and human rights within Indonesia -- deserve much better: truth and justice." The La'o Hamutuk Bulletin Editorial

Apr 12 AFP: Wahid bowing to military pressure in avoiding Timor trials: activists  Article
“In the body of the government there are still people opposed to the East Timor prosecutions, ... The majority (of those in the government) are not willing for those responsible for the violence in East Timor to be immediately tried. They are the followers of the old regime who are still in power, especially in the military,” Johnson Panjaitan, human rights lawyer

Mar 28 GLW: Timor war criminals remain free  Article
"The establishment of an international war crimes tribunal for East Timor faces opposition from Indonesia’s main Western allies also, who have repeatedly stressed their preference for Indonesia to conduct its own trials. ... if such a tribunal was established, why should it not investigate the actions of those states who condoned, aided and abetted Indonesia’s illegal occupation of East Timor, and who have consistently lied about the extent of their involvement?" Jon Land, Indonesia - East Timor Campaign Watch

Feb 2 JP: Aditjondro: ETimorese becoming guests in their own land  Interview
"So the continuous offensive attitude (towards East Timor) is a strategy, evident from the fact that Indonesia has not been very cooperative in allowing those in West Timor to return, because (the refugees) are their bargaining chip (with the international community). The international community have thus conceded that no international tribunal (will be conducted). ... If Indonesia wants it could easily dismantle all the militias, it could work with organizations and the Church to accommodate the 100,000 (refugees); therefore Indonesia has not been ready to give up East Timor." George Junus Aditjondro, self-exiled author and lecturer from Indonesia, currently teaching at Newcastle University Australia

Feb 1 ETAN/U.S.: East Timor Still Awaits Justice A Year After UN Call for International Tribunal  Release
"We are deeply disturbed that a year has passed since both [crimes tribunal] inquiries and no steps have been taken to address these severe human rights abuses with an international tribunal and no one has been prosecuted in Indonesia," John M. Miller, East Timor Action Network/U.S. (ETAN)

Jan 30 CSM: Conviction in East Timor Falls Short of Calls for Justice  Article
"But no one in East Timor, thirsty for justice after a 24-year occupation, is satisfied with the result. "We reject this verdict," said Catalina Pereira, the victim's daughter, outside the courthouse. "So many men were slaughtered, and this is it?" The dissatisfaction of Ms. Pereira and thousands of other East Timorese illustrates how the effort to build a credible international justice system is faltering across the globe. A combination of weak political will, high costs, and poor coordination are hampering justice efforts from East Timor to the former Yugoslavia." Dan Murphy

Dec 13 2000 SMH: East Timor - Empty Justice  Editorial
"Indonesia is supposed to be bringing suspects to account for some of the worst human rights abuses, including the massacre of priests, women and children sheltering in a church in Suai and the murder of a Dutch journalist, Sander Thoenes. The former armed forces chief, General Wiranto, has been named by Jakarta as "morally responsible", but no charges have been laid or cases mounted. This leaves East Timorese prosecutors with a credible legal process but no significant suspects to try, and Indonesian prosecutors with all the big suspects but no credible process. Jakarta is not willing to extradite suspects to East Timor, and would have serious problems in protecting witnesses in any trial of senior military officers in Indonesia." Editorial, Sydney Morning Herald

Nov 29 2000 GLW: UN goes soft on militias  Article
"When asked about the security situation and the Indonesian government's steps to try those responsible for human rights abuses, Andjaba replied the government "has tried its best" and that "I don't think it is time now for an international criminal tribunal". Andjaba's comments echo those of UN representatives and Western governments throughout the year: in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, they are defending the Indonesian government's position that it alone should conduct investigations into the post-ballot violence in East Timor and bring those responsible to justice. It looks unlikely that those ultimately responsible, including former TNI head General Wiranto, will face trial. Or if they do it will be a long, drawn out process open to manipulation." Jon Land, Indonesia - East Timor Campaign Watch


More reasons for an International War Crimes Tribunal

Kopassus (the Indonesian military special forces)

Military and political aid to Indonesia

'Refugees' & Missing Persons

Sexual Violence as a weapon of war

War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity
 

Jan 30/31 Free East Timor Japan Coalition letter to UNSG  Letter added Feb 1
"The Indonesian ad-hoc court, however, has many flaws. First and foremost, the jurisdiction of the court is severely limited ... Secondly, the current list of suspects it will try is inadequate, ... Thirdly, the selection process of the judges was not transparent and the judges apparently do not satisfy the necessary requirements for serving on a human rights court." Free East Timor! Japan Coalition

Jan 25 JP: End game in East Timor  Editorial added Jan 26
"The heaviest cost that the East Timor debacle is exacting on Indonesia, though, is on its international reputation and image. This incident hurt the entire nation, and not just the military. ... It is no wonder that more and more people around the world see Indonesia as a pariah state. If this image continues, more and more investors and tourists will shun Indonesia. ... Clearly, it is in the best interest of this nation to accelerate the entire legal process. These delays should come to an end, for our own good. We need to put the East Timor nightmare behind us, once and for all, and quickly, and restore our reputation and credibility among the international community. Most of all, we need to get on with our lives." Jakarta Post Editorial

Nov 15 KairosCanada: Appeal for Tribunal  Action added Nov 15
“There must be no hiding place for political monsters such as unleashed the destruction of East Timor in 1999. These are crimes which are far greater than their immediate victims ... They strike at the future as well as the present. They make the world more dangerous for everyone.” Bishop Belo, Bishop of Dili, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, 1996

Oct 29 APCET letter to UN Security Council on International Tribunal  Letter added Oct 31
"We believe that the formation of the tribunal will ensure that no further crimes are committed against the people of East Timor and that past transgressors will be brought to justice. Such tribunal will also send a strong signal to potential criminals elsewhere in the world that crimes like these will not go unpunished." Mr. Augusto N. Miclat, Jr., Coordinator, APCET, the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor [The coalition includes 17 affiliates from Asia-Pacific countries]

Oct 24 ET NGOs: Urgent Steps Needed to Establish Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"The situation is made even more critical by the coming end of the UNTAET mission. Under the stewardship of UNTAET was the time when the impunity of the past was needed to be replaced by the rule of law and justice, necessary for the nation building process of and reconciliation for East Timor. Instead, we are facing the dark reality of such impunity characterizing our future." Yayasan HAK; Lao Hamutuk; FOKUPERS; Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace and Development Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI); Working Group for Electoral Education (KKPP); Judicial System Monitoring Project (JSMP); East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSC); Student Solidarity Council of Oe-Cusse; Yayasan Timor Nabilan; Nove-Nove Survivers Group (Maliana); NGO Forum

Oct 24 Internationals in ET write UN Security Council on Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"This is not a new request. In early 2000, both the UNCHR-established International Commission of Inquiry and the Indonesian government’s KPP-HAM investigation recommended that high-level Indonesian military commanders be prosecuted, and that an international court would be the only practical way to accomplish this. In the last few months, all 16 East Timorese political parties, as well as the National Council which was East Timor’s legislature until June, have also expressed their support for an international tribunal. As time goes on, it is increasingly clear to everyone that Jakarta cannot or will not prosecute high-ranking military officers, and that UNTAET’s Serious Crimes Unit does not have the leverage to obtain Indonesian cooperation." J Conway (Asia-Pacific Support Collective); Sr. B Guhit (Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace & Development); J Gunter; C Serreira e Freire (Oikos); M Hachisuka (La’o Hamutuk); T Irawati (FORTILOS); V Joshi (LH); N Katjasungkana (FORTILOS); I Lempp; J Newton (Caritas Australia); S Martin (CA); H McCaughey (Australian Volunteers International); C Ranheim (Judicial Systems Monitoring Programme); S Rosa; C Scheiner (International Federation for East Timor); P Sexton (LH); A de Sousa (LH); J Sternberg

Oct 16 FORTILOS/HAK: Justice Process in Indonesia re ET 1999  Article added Nov 15
"With the completion of the work of KPP-HAM, and entrusted by the international world, the ongoing process lies in the hands of the Indonesian Attorney General (AG). The AG holds the authority to decide on which cases and whom to prosecute in court. [issues:] the AG’s Office doesn’t have enough capability and knowledge to deal with cases previously unknown in Indonesia, such as “serious violations of human rights” and/or “violations of international humanitarian law.” ... so far the AG has not been independent from the government, and especially not in relationship to the Indonesian National Military (ABRI/TNI). ... one can assume from the beginning of August 2000 on, that certain names will be deleted from the list to be investigated by the AG. ... The largest obstacle for the Indonesian National Court of Justice is that the suspects of serious human rights crimes are Indonesian military (TNI) officers ... TNI is a very dominant element in the regime that is currently in power in Indonesia. ... The Ad Hoc Human Rights Court itself is seen in TNI circles, including by General Wiranto, as a step to avoid the establishment of an International Tribunal." By Nug Katjasungkana, Solidarity Forum for East Timor in Indonesia (FORTILOS) and Yayasan HAK, Foundation of Law, Human Rights, and Justice

Sep 4 Tempo: Xanana Gusmao: All Cabinet members will be Timorese  Interview added Sep 6
"Tempo: What is your opinion about the international court to try human rights abuses committed in Timor Lorosae?
Xanana: When we talk about human rights abuses, we have to also go back 24 years ago and not only concentrate on what happened in September 1999." Tempo magazine

Aug 22 SMH: Timor justice shackled by 'joke' decree  Article added Aug 22
"She [President Megawati Sukarnoputri] spoke about her commitment [to prosecute those responsible for human rights abuses], but I don’t believe it, ... It was the military commanders who supported her rise to power. Many of those were in East Timor.” Mr Aniceto Guterres, director of Yayasan Hak, East Timor’s leading human rights organisation

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 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 13 SMH/J.Dunn: Crimes Against Humanity Demand a Proper Airing  Opinion added Aug 13
"Indonesian officers responsible for murder and mayhem in East Timor should face an international court, ... The world may have been too quick to applaud Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri for setting up a tribunal to bring to justice the Indonesian military (TNI) and the militia responsible for the violence two years ago in East Timor. This is only a domestic tribunal, and its establishment could well have been designed to head off the growing world pressure for an international body." James Dunn, investigator of crimes against humanity in East Timor

Aug 11 SMH: Stop-the-rot campaign helps E Timor on road to political integrity  Article added Aug 13
"East Timor’s main human rights group, Yayasan Hak, said the appointment of a retired general, A. M Hendroprioyono, as the [Indonesian] intelligence chief was worrying because of his links with militia groups in 1999. “He was known to have been present during meetings in East Timor when the militia were established,” said a spokesman, Joaquim Fonseca. Yayasan Hak has criticised President Megawati Sukarnoputri’s support for pro-Jakarta militia during the 1999 independence vote. The group says her close military ties mean it is unlikely she will bring to justice Indonesian generals responsible for masterminding the militia violence. “It is worrying for ... the process of democracy in Indonesia that those generals who were part of a long-standing authoritarian government are given new political roles,” Mr Fonseca said." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili and agencies

Jul 26 AI: East Timor: Justice at risk  Release added Aug 1
“If the UN pulls out now, without leaving in place substantial support for the fledgling judicial system and other key institutions, its investment over the past two years will be jeopardized. The UN is failing in its primary task of ensuring that the new state of East Timor has protection and promotion of human rights at its core, ... Two years on the East Timorese people are still waiting for justice. If credible trials are further delayed, the demands for an international criminal tribunal will inevitably become more insistent“ Amnesty International

Jul 24 IHT: Gareth Evans: Indonesia's Military Culture Has to Be Reformed  Article added July 25
“Unfortunately, Indonesia has not taken effective measures to bring to justice members of the armed forces and militia groups against whom there is credible evidence of human rights abuses in East Timor and Indonesia itself. Several investigations have been started.  Charges have been pressed against a number of lower-ranking field officers, but convictions have been few. None involve senior officers, and a general culture of impunity still exists within the armed forces and among militia leaders.” Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister from 1988 to 1996, President of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group

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 added July 11
" ...  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 8 CT: East Timor leader 'frustrated' by lack of justice  News added June 12
"If you steal a bicycle in Holland you spend a few months in prison. In Indonesia you kill three humanitarian workers in cold blood, you boast about it on television, and you get 10 to 20 months, ... When a country, a government, a society, shrugs in the face of such destruction, at the horrendous crimes committed under its flag, its name, I can only say I pity, and I am afraid for that country." Jose Ramos-Horta

Jun 7 AFP Australia slams release of East Timor militia leader  News added June 9
"Australia Thursday denounced a decision by Indonesian authorities to free a notorious East Timorese militia leader [Eurico Guterres] after he had served just 23 days of a six-month prison sentence. ... Guterres has been implicated in a number of atrocities in East Timor as pro-Jakarta militias, armed and trained by the Indonesian army, embarked upon a bloody, scorched-earth rampage after the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesian on August 30, 1999." AFP

Jun 1 AI: Report 2001, Covering events from Jan-Dec 2000  Link to report added Jun 21
"The legal and institutional framework for investigating and prosecuting serious crimes was introduced by UNTAET. Jurisdiction over serious crimes under international law including war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and sexual offences was established. A Special Crimes Unit was established to investigate the massive human rights violations which were perpetrated by pro-Indonesian militia and the Indonesian security forces in 1999. However, lack of support and resources contributed to the slow pace of investigations. ... by the end of 2000 no one had been brought to justice for crimes committed during 1999." Amnesty International

May 17 ETO: East Timor Defence Force: the price of security  Report added June 8
"Continuing instability (largely due to the behaviour of militias, and Armed Forces and Government of Indonesia) has forced the international community and the Timorese to shift from their original position that the territory should not have armed forces. By the end of 2001, only 600 members of the ETDF will have been trained, which means that the presence of international military and observers will have to continue, until militias in West Timor are disbanded, disarmed, and their members brought to trial." East Timor Observatory

Portuguese:
May 17 OTL: Forças de Defesa de Timor Leste: custos da segurança  Report added June 8
"A situação de instabilidade continuada (fortemente dependente do comportamento das milícias, Forças Armadas e governo indonésio) obrigou a comunidade internacional e os timorenses a alterar a posição inicial de não criação de FA para o território. Apenas 600 efectivos das FDTL serão treinados até finais de 2001, o que impõe a necessidade da continuação de uma presença de militares e observadores internacionais até que as milícias em Timor Ocidental sejam desmanteladas, desarmadas e os seus elementos levados a julgamento." Observatório Timor Leste

May 8 JP: Atambua sentence: Ever elusive justice on  Editorial
"International condemnation came swift and fast on Friday as soon as a district court in Jakarta sentenced six pro-Indonesia East Timorese to between 10 and 20 months in jail for their roles in the September murder of three United Nations humanitarian aid workers. ... As people in this country and abroad must realize by now, it is one thing for Indonesia to carry out due process of law and completely another whether this process ensures the delivery of justice, which is the very objective of this whole exercise. Looking at the brutal way that the Atambua murders were carried out and at the humanitarian nature of the mission of the UN staffers, there is a nagging feeling that our sense of justice, and not only that of the members of the international community, has not been met by Friday’s court verdicts. The United Nations has a valid case to lodge a complaint or to question Indonesia’s competence in delivering justice." Jakarta Post editorial

May 2 IO: Solidamor demands Wiranto be charged  News from Indonesia
"The Solidarity Without Borders (Solidamor), led by its chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos, was received by senior prosecutor Rahman, who chairs a Attorney General's Office (AGO) team investigating human rights abuses in East Timor. The AGO last week named 18 suspects in the destruction of East Timor by pro-Jakarta militias after the East Timorese people voted for independence from Indonesia on August 30, 1999. However, the list sparked outrage from human rights activists as it excluded Wiranto and other former high-ranking officers, such as Lieutenant General Johnny Lumintang, Major General Zacky Anwar Makarim and Major General H.R. Garnadi. Former militia commander Joao Savares was also not among the suspects." Indonesian Observer

Apr 10 ABC: Report finds Timor violence the result of a 'conspiracy'  News
“I’ve made a very firm statement that what happened in East Timor was not a spontaneous response by Timorese who wanted to stay with Indonesia, it was a virtually conspiracy led by a number of Indonesian generals.” James Dunn, expert on crimes against humanity at the Dili-based United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)

Feb 5 JP: James Dunn interview on perpetrators of war crimes in Timor  Interview
"As long as no one is made accountable for war crimes in Timor, the blame will continue to be placed on Indonesia" James Dunn, expert on crimes against humanity, UNTAET


East Timor's Judicial System

see also women's issues - law

Feb 8 CCET: Freedom without justice in East Timor?  Statement added Feb 14
"An international support network of Christian groups and churches at the Twelfth Christian Consultation on East Timor, held in Antwerp from 7-9 December, joined its voice to a mounting international campaign and called for Indonesia to set a deadline of July 2002, after which an international tribunal should be set up to deliver justice. ... [CCET] made the following recommendations to UN bodies: ... 3) The East Timorese judicial system should be properly resourced by the international community including its non-legal functions such as translation facilities, administrative support, transportation, etc." Catherine Scott for Christian Consultation on East Timor (CCET)

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)

Jan 30/31 Free East Timor Japan Coalition letter to UNSG  Letter added Feb 1
"We therefore call on you to strongly commit yourself to: (1) the establishment of an international tribunal to properly investigate crimes against humanity committed in East Timor, not only in 1999 but throughout the entire period of the Indonesian occupation, and prosecute those responsible for these atrocities; and (2) the provision of proper funding and resources for East Timor’s judicial system to ensure that low-level militia members within East Timor are brought to justice." Free East Timor! Japan Coalition

Jan 31 JSMP: Constituent Assembly adopts Serious Crimes articles  Comment added Feb 1
"The Constituent Assembly yesterday adopted three new articles to the East Timorese constitution who all relates to the process of bringing perpetrators of previous serious crimes in East Timor to justice. The articles, however, surprisingly limits the process quite significantly compared to the system already established by UNTAET. ... JSMP fear that the limitations of the adopted articles derives mainly from confusion over legal terminology and lack of knowledge of the system currently in place for trying Serious Crimes in East Timor. The end result may be that some of the most severe crimes will not be tried, or tried in a court system already overburdened with cases and where the lack of resources may seriously endanger the defendant’s right to a fair trial. In another surprising decision, the assembly adopted a regulation establishing the right of the East Timorese Parliament to revise the mandate of the Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The suggestion was raised by Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri, and will limit the independence of the commission drastically." 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

Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu:
Des 14 JSMP: Keadilan Dalam Praktek: HAK asasi manusia dalam administrasi pengadilan
Laporan ditambahkan tanggal Desember 17
"Laporan ini mengkaji efektivitas administrasi Panel Khusus untuk Kejahatan Serius dari Pengadilan Distrik Dili yang dibentuk oleh Pemerintah Transisi PBB di Timor Lorosa’e (UNTAET). Panel Khusus ini diberi mandat untuk menangani Kejahatan-kejahatan Serius yang dilakukan selama pendudukan Indonesia, termasuk kampanye tindak kekerasan di tahun 1999. Kemampuan Panel ini untuk menegakkan keadilan secara adil dan independen sangat penting bagi proses rekonsiliasi yang tengah digalakkan. ... Untuk merangkum rekomendasi-rekomendasi yang diketengahkan: perencanaan strategis yang komprehensif berdasarkan pada analisa kebutuhan yang lengkap harus merupakan suatu prioritas. Hal ini harus mengarah kepada perubahan substansial pada administrasi pengadilan, termasuk mobilisasi sumber-daya yang semakin meningkat secara signifikan dan pelatihan terkoordinir serta pemantauan terhadap staff Timor Lorosa’e. Ini menyimpulkan bahwa tanpa suatu struktur administrasi jelas, tanggung-jawab yang didefinisikan dengan benar dan pelatihan memadai serta dukungan teknis, sistem peradilan Timor Lorosa’e yang baru dan Panel Khusus untuk Kejahatan Serius akan tetap bergelut." Program Pemantauan Sistim Peradilanm Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Portuguese:
Dec 14 JSMP: Justiça na práctica: direitos humonos na administração do tribunal
Reportagem de Dec 17
"Este relatório examina a efectividade da administração do Painel Especial para Crimes Sérios do Tribunal do Distrito de Díli que tem sido criado pela Administração Transitória das Nações Unidas em Timor Leste (UNTAET). Essses Paineis especiais são mandatados para tratar dos crimes sérios cometidos durante a ocupação Indonésia, incluido a campanha de violência em 1999. As suas abilidades de ministrar justiça num clima justo e independente é vital para sustentar o decorrente processo de reconciliação. ... Para resumir as recomendações apresentadas aqui: plano estratégico compreensivo, baseado na total nescessidade de avaliação, deve ser uma prioridade. Isto deveria conduzir a reformas substanciais da administração, inclusive um melhoramento significativo da mobilização dos recursos e terinamento coordenado dos stafs de Timor Leste. Isto conclui de que sem uma estrutura administrativa lúcida, responsabilidades bem definidas, treinos adequados e assistência técnica, o novo sistema judicial de Timor Leste e os Paineis Especiais para Crimes Sérios continuarão a ser uma luta." Programa de Monitorização do Sistema Judicial (PMSJ)

Major Report
Dec 14 JSMP: Justice in Practice - Human Rights in Court Administration
Executive summary added Dec 17
"Since February 2001 the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) has been providing independent monitoring and analysis of the Special Panels of the Dili District Court. Through court observation of the Serious Crimes trials, JSMP monitors have observed a series of problems that are impeding the proper development of this important part of East Timor’s new justice system. JSMP’s first thematic report Justice in Practice: Human Rights in Court Administration examines these problems and their implications for the system’s capacity to comply with international human rights standards and fulfil its role in the broader reconciliation process in East Timor. The report also contains a series of recomendations that have been forwarded to the UN Transitional Administration and the Minister for Justice." Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)

Nov 24 WkAus: 21 charged with Timor massacre  News added Nov 26
"United Nations prosecutors in East Timor have lodged an indictment against 21 people, including senior Indonesian military, militia and government officials, over the massacre in the Catholic church in the town of Liquica in April 1999. ... Of the 21 accused, only two low-ranking participants in the April 6 massacre are in custody in East Timor. ... there is strong resistance in Jakarta to fulfilling extradition requests. ... The results of the investigation in East Timor, ... could assist, and put pressure on, Indonesian justice officials and encourage the Attorney-General’s office to increase the number of people facing prosecution. Ultimately, this is likely to reach retired armed forces commander General Wiranto." Don Greenlees

Oct 31 Colombia: The Situation in East Timor  Statement to Security Council added Nov 13
"Another point that Mr. Vieira de Mello made relates to the need for proper justice for crimes committed, particularly the most serious offences. We have all recently heard many calls for ad hoc courts or mechanisms to ensure that perpetrators of such crimes are held responsible. This campaign and this activism confirm how important it is to do away with impunity. However, in our opinion, we must focus our efforts on the functioning and strengthening of existing institutions and those that are to be created. In our view, justice and reconciliation should be fully compatible. Without proper justice being done, we cannot set out on the road to true coexistence. The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation commissions is very useful." Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso, Permanent Representative of Colombia

October 2001 LHB: East Timor’s New Judicial System  Article added Oct 30
"It is vital that the international community continues to support and provide material assistance to the fledgling justice system well beyond the expiration of the UNTAET mandate. If the new justice system does not receive the necessary support, the legacy of impunity and corruption left by Indonesia will continue to undermine the development of the rule of law in an independent East Timor." The Judicial System Monitoring Programme

Oct 24 ET NGOs: Urgent Steps Needed to Establish Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"The East Timorese belief in justice and the rule of law, however, has not been meet by the measures taken thus far, both under UNTAET in the form of the Serious Crimes Unit and the process in Indonesia itself. The Serious Crimes Unit, firstly, lacks jurisdiction over those perpetrators who remain outside its territorial reach, particularly those with higher command responsibility for the planned execution of the widespread murder, rape, displacement of population, destruction of infrastructure and property. ... The East Timorese people’s patience and expectation with this avenue of justice is understandably wearing thin. Meanwhile, the rule of law seems as hard to find at this stage of the process, as it was under colonial rule." Yayasan HAK; Lao Hamutuk; FOKUPERS; Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace and Development Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI); Working Group for Electoral Education (KKPP); Judicial System Monitoring Project (JSMP); East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSC); Student Solidarity Council of Oe-Cusse; Yayasan Timor Nabilan; Nove-Nove Survivers Group (Maliana); NGO Forum

Oct 24 Internationals in ET write UN Security Council on Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"After two years, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor is winding down. East Timor will be independent soon. It would compound the crimes already committed here if this tiny, poor nation which has endured so much terror is left on its own to cope with criminals who still hold positions of power in its huge neighbor. The period of U.N. responsibility for East Timor must leave a legacy of justice and accountability if East Timor is to succeed as a member of the world community." J Conway (Asia-Pacific Support Collective); Sr. B Guhit (Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace & Development); J Gunter; C Serreira e Freire (Oikos); M Hachisuka (La’o Hamutuk); T Irawati (FORTILOS); V Joshi (LH); N Katjasungkana (FORTILOS); I Lempp; J Newton (Caritas Australia); S Martin (CA); H McCaughey (Australian Volunteers International); C Ranheim (Judicial Systems Monitoring Programme); S Rosa; C Scheiner (International Federation for East Timor); P Sexton (LH); A de Sousa (LH); J Sternberg

Oct 20 Free East Timor! Japan Coalition writes to UNSG re international tribunal  Letter added Nov 13
"Just as the victims of the U.S. attacks deserve justice, so do the East Timorese. Terrorism, which is generally defined as the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective, is an accurate description of the sufferings inflicted on the East Timorese people by the Indonesian military during the 24 years of Indonesian occupation. ... We therefore call on you to: ... 2) support the provision of proper funding and resources for East Timor’s judicial system to ensure that low-level militia members within East Timor are brought to justice." Free East Timor! Japan Coalition

Oct 17 STL: Othman replaced as General Prosecutor in East Timor  News from ETimor added Oct 19
“Mari Alkateri [head of government] agreed to my proposal after a long consultation process, and agreed to the choice of Longginhos Monteiro as a General Prosecutor. I do expect that Longginhos will lead his office, and work well with his staff” UNTAET Transitional Administrator Sergio Viera de Mello
“When I was working, I could not speak the language, so by choosing the new general prosecutor, he may more easily coordinate the work of the office in accordance with local culture, in order to achieve justice” Mohamed Othman, previous General Prosecutor

Sep 20 A Popular Challenge to UNTAET’s Achievements  Statement added Sep 20
"UNTAET has recently published in the September issue of its broadsheet Timor Tais 20 of the UN’s major achievements in East Timor. ... 10. Establishment of a Functioning Judicial and Legal System: In few areas is the gap between claim and reality greater than in terms of a functioning judiciary. This is key to the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Short-term training of judges cannot equal the kind of training and experience required for such positions. Cases are slow to be dealt with and detentions without trial are considered international violations of civil and political rights. The ineffectiveness of the judicial system gives East Timor the reputation of violating such rights. The Serious Crimes Unit of UNTAET has been severely criticized by the press and the fact that the charges against it have not been addressed by the Transitional Administrator diminishes the importance of the tragic events of 1999."

Aug 28 SMH: To forge a future, Timor needs justice for the past  Article from ETimor added Aug 30
"Prosecuting the crimes of 1999 is essential for East Timor, but also for Indonesia. Democracy there is fragile and the military continues to intrude on both government and civil society. Much remains to be done. We call on the international community for the following: ... * Provide adequate resources and expertise to East Timor's legal process to deal with the hundreds of militia who remain in the country. ... The path to independence follows the road of justice and reconciliation." Bishop Carlos Belo

Aug 25 C. Vasconcelos on ET Justice System to Int'l Association of Prosecutors  Briefing added Aug 30
"As an experienced and principled prosecutor, I went to East Timor to share my skills with fellow prosecutors there. I have become an object of retribution because I fought to uphold principles that are sacred to our profession. What lessons the East Timorese are learning from the experiences I have had! Particularly disturbing is the fact that all of this occurred in the United Nations, the fountain from which the fundamental principles of human rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have sprung from. ... I have paid the price for believing that the United Nations practices what it preaches." Carlos Vasconcelos, Federal Prosecutor at the 1st Federal Court of Appeals in Brasilia, Brazil

Jul 30 JSMP: Los Palos trial enters second stage  News from ETimor added Aug 1
[Includes links to info on KOPASSUS & Team Alfa militia - BD]
"During the cross examination, the militia members have testified to their strong links with KOPASSUS, the Indonesian special forces, ever since Team Alpha was established in the mid 1980s. One of the accused also confirmed that he had been paid 75 000 rupiah per month for being a militia member. The same accused confirmed that the militia had been informed by KOPASSUS of the “Operation Cleansing”, the first step in which was to kill everyone who voted for independence, the second step to destroy all buildings in East Timor made by Indonesians." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 28 MULR: Creation of a Viable Criminal Justice System in ET  Report Abstract & Conclusions added Aug 1
"In its examination of the creation of a criminal justice system in East Timor, this paper has followed three identified themes: the degree of consultation with the East Timorese in the decision-making process; the ability of the existing and incoming system to cope with the laws it is expected to enforce; and the investment in human skills that is being undertaken in order to empower the East Timorese to manage their own country after independence. Through this analysis, the problems of the system have been brought to light. The picture that has emerged bodes ill for the future of East Timor." The Melbourne University Law Review

Jul 27 JSMP Comments to the Sergio Lobo interlocutory appeal  Comments added July 28
"Panel A of the Dili District Court decided to conditionally release Dr Sergio Lobo, ... from detention in Becora prison and place him under house detention until his forthcoming trial. ... JSMP is concerned that this interlocutory decision has the potential to seriously undermine the equally important rights of the victims of crime and violates international human rights law aimed at ensuring the safety and security of every person. Furthermore, the decision seems to reveal a prejudicial attitude, even within the justice system, against respect for women’s rights in East Timor." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 27 AI: EAST TIMOR Justice past, present and future  Report added Aug 13
"The judicial system is only partially established and what does exist is fragile. Members of the fledgling judiciary lack the necessary training and support and are vulnerable to political pressure, including through threats and intimidation. The courts lack basic facilities and by June 2001 only one out of East Timor’s four district courts was fully operational. A public defenders service has been established but this small group of lawyers also lacks the support needed to make up for their lack of experience. In addition, the laws that are being applied in East Timor are not always consistent with international human rights standards." Amnesty International

Jul 26 AI: East Timor: Justice at risk  Release added Aug 1
“If the UN pulls out now, without leaving in place substantial support for the fledgling judicial system and other key institutions, its investment over the past two years will be jeopardized. The UN is failing in its primary task of ensuring that the new state of East Timor has protection and promotion of human rights at its core, ... Two years on the East Timorese people are still waiting for justice. If credible trials are further delayed, the demands for an international criminal tribunal will inevitably become more insistent“ Amnesty International

Bahasa Indonesia:
Jul 25 TMP: Pernyataan Keprihatinan Atas Sidang Naik Banding  Statement added Aug 1
"Bahwa kami sangat menyesalkan hasil  keputusan Majelis Hakim Panel A pengadilan distrik Dili untuk mencabut penahanan sementara atas tersangka dr Sergio Lobo. Dasar pertimbangan yang dipakai hakim maupun pihak pembela untuk melepaskan dr Sergio Lobo, tidak menunjukkan aspek pembelaan dan keadilan terhadap korban GG. Ernawati." oleh Tim Monitoring Persidangan: Fokupers (Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae); Tim Kuasa Hukum G.G. Ernawati Legal Aid Ukun Rasi’An

Jul 25 CMT: Statement of Concern Regarding the Appeal Hearing  Statement added July 28
"We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision of the High Panel of Judges in District Dili Court to overturn the temporary detention of the accused Dr. Sergio Lobo. The reasoning for the judgement presented by the judges as well as by the defense for the release of Sergio Lobo does not point to concern for justice for the victim, GG. Ernawati." The Court Monitoring Team: Fokupers (the East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum) ; Legal Aid Team of Ukun Rasik An

Jul 24 Yayasan HAK: Serious Concerns re Judicial Independence under UNTAET  Paper added July 26
" ... in order for the transition to be a meaningful one, the foundations must be laid to ensure that national democratic institutions can perform the checks and balances required for any healthy and vigorous democracy. The establishment of such local institutions capable of upholding democratic values is particularly critical for East Timor to redress the oppression experienced under decades of colonial rule. Securing the basis for an independent judiciary is indispensable in this a historical context. It is only then that the East Timorese can start to overcome a past legacy of impunity and cultivate a culture of the rule of law where the people can trust and rely on the judiciary for the full protection and realisation of their rights. In light of the importance and urgency of this matter we would urge you to raise your concern on this matter with the Transitional Administrator and encourage his administration to act in accordance with international human rights law and democratic principles." Aniceto Guterres Lopes, Director, Yayasan HAK

Jul 16 JSMP: Militia member convicted of UNAMET staff murder  News from ETimor added July 17
"A former member of Team Pancasila militia was today found guilty of murdering a UNAMET local staff member and FALINTIL supporter in Atabe village, Ermera district on the day after the popular consultation in which nearly eighty percent of East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia. ... This is the first case involving the killing of an East Timorese who was in part targeted for his role in working with the UN mission that supervised the ballot on 30 August 1999. Many other local staff were similarly attacked in the violent aftermath." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 13 JSMP: Team Alpha militia members testify to Kopassus links  News from ETimor added July 14
[Includes links to info on KOPASSUS & Team Alfa militia - BD]
"In the first trial involving crimes against humanity being heard by the Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court, several Team Alpha militia members have testified this week to their strong links with KOPASSUS, the Indonesian military special forces. They confirmed that as militia members they were trained and armed by KOPASSUS to fight FALINTIL." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 10 JSMP: First crimes against humanity trial begins  News from ETimor added July 11
"The first trial involving crimes against humanity, known as the “Los Palos” case, finally began yesterday after several delays. ... He [Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes, Jean-Luis Gillisen (Belgium)] said that it was an important moment not just for the East Timorese people, but also for the international community as the victims of the crimes alleged include all of humankind. The Special Panel takes part in the building of international justice, thereby helping the international community to end impunity for the commission of atrocities, he said." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jun 1 JSMP: New Human Rights Project in East Timor  Project added June 9
"We would like to introduce you to the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), a new human rights project set up by the East Timorese Jurists’ Association and the Timorese/international organisation La'o Hamutuk. JSMP aims to assist the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, the East Timorese public and the international community by making recommendations for ongoing reform of the fledgling judicial system of East Timor."


Other related info

Oct 10 ABC: Gusmao: Priorities for the New Nation  Interview added Oct 13
"I not against an international tribunal, I just say that we as East Timorese we have other priorities and if it is an international tribunal let international community to set up this, don’t demand us to do this. We will anyway we will help this tribunal but don’t give to us this burden because our burden is more than to seek for justice, we are now, our people are dying, our children are dying, the elder people are dying without health care." East Timor’s poet revolutionary and presidential nominee Xanana Gusmao

Oct 16 Dili Seminar: Justice and Accountability in East Timor  Invitation added Oct 11
"You are invited to attend a one day seminar on: 'Justice and Accountability in East Timor: International Tribunals and other options'. The purpose of the seminar is to discuss the progress so far regarding prosecution of crimes against humanity committed in East Timor and where we go from here. ... The seminar will be held at the Canossian Sisters, Becora, Dili, Timor Lorosa’e. Tuesday 16th October ... Most of the presentations will be in Tetun or Bahasa Indonesia. An English interpreter will be available." The NGO Forum; Yayasan HAK; La’o Hamutuk; Fokupers; Caritas Australia; Judicial System Monitoring Programme

Aug 30 Time Asia: Gusmao: What Happens Next?  Interview added Aug 30
"TIME: What is your position on amnesty for the violence of 1999? Gusmao: Amnesty can be considered, but only after justice, after trials. Not before. TIME: Would that mean not putting people in jail? Gusmao: It is not my decision to say. As a principle, I only can conceive amnesty after justice. But who can decide? It will be the assembly, the government. Not me."

July 23 IHRN Urges New Indonesian President to Curtail Military and Police Abuses  Release added July 26
"The Indonesia Human Rights Network urges Megawati to do everything in her power to put an end to military and police violence, and to work to establish a judiciary with the authority, capacity and support to bring those responsible for human rights violations to justice," Megan Walsh, The Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN)

28 April – 5 May 2001 CSW: Joint Mission to East Timor  Report added July 5
"Conclusions & Recommendations:
* That the Indonesian authorities, the UN, and the international community take responsibility for bringing perpetrators of serious crimes, whether militia leaders or Indonesian military, to justice;
* That President Abdurrahman Wahid amend his decree and extend the mandate of the Indonesian tribunal to crimes committed before, as well as after, the August 1999 ballot, so that such atrocities as the Liquica massacre in April 1999, and the attack on Manuel Carrascalao’s home, be properly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice;"
Dr Martin Panter & Benedict Rogers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)


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