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“Let me be straight. Though I value Serio de Mello’s efforts in Jakarta, I still think in order to be effective the UN must give Indonesia a deadline to deal with the [crimes against humanity] cases,” Aderito de Jesus, Director, Sahe Institute of Liberation

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Timor Post

Wednesday 28 February 2001

Ad Hoc Committee for Human Rights Cases: UN Must Give Indonesia A Timeframe

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Director of the Sahe Institute of Liberation Aderito de Jesus said a timeframe had to be given to Indonesia by the United Nations in order for the trials of those suspected of having committed crimes against humanity to proceed smoothly.

Aderito was responding to Jakarta’s comments over the weekend, after Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Melo had met Indonesian House of Representatives Speaker Akbar Tandjung, that and ad hoc committee had been formed to look into the human rights cases.

While the Sahe Institute supported the initiative, Aderito, however, doubted the ability of the Indonesian legal system to deal with cases concerning crimes against humanity.

He said the Indonesian legal system was still developing and leaders in the country did not have the political will to deal with such cases. With the current political turmoil in Indonesia, said Aderito, the ad hoc committee will be given least priority.

“Let me be straight. Though I value Serio de Mello’s efforts in Jakarta, I still think in order to be effective the UN must give Indonesia a deadline to deal with the cases,” said Aderito.

See also:

Feb 14 SMH: UN credibility at risk over war crimes, says Horta  News
"If Indonesia fails to deliver justice then I don't see how the Security Council can get away from creating a war crimes tribunal for East Timor. ... I am confident a war crimes tribunal remains a strong option.'' Jose Ramos Horta, cabinet member for foreign affairs, UN-chaired East Timor Transitional Administration (ETTA)

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

Feb 2 ICG: Indonesia: Impunity vs. Accountability For Gross Human Rights Violations  Report
"The international community has a particular obligation to ensure accountability for Indonesian perpetrators of serious crimes committed in East Timor in 1999. It has a more general concern for accountability because of its stake in democratisation and stability in an important country. This requires a higher degree of international engagement in Indonesian processes than might otherwise be normal or tolerable." International Crisis Group (Brussels)

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 31 TAPOL: East Timor - Crimes against humanity must not go unpunished  Release
"Speedy justice and the ending of impunity are essential for peace and reconciliation in East Timor and for democracy and stability in Indonesia," Paul Barber, TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

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

Dec 6 2000 Times: Bishops call for international tribunal to try war crimes in East Timor  Letter
"In Indonesia efforts are being made to set up trials. But the conditions for them to be conducted according to international standards do not exist and are unlikely to in the near future. ... No healing process can start in the knowledge that perpetrators will go unpunished. Justice is vital to East Timor's future, and to the future of Indonesia, which is struggling to found a democratic state based on the rule of law." David Konstant, Bishop of Leeds, Chairman, Catholic Bishops' Conference Department of International Affairs & Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford

Dec 2 2000 CCET: Christian churches call for justice and peace in East Timor  Statement
"The fabric of East Timorese society has been torn and weakened by years of warfare waged by an occupying power. The result is a society which is in desperate need of justice, in order to build a lasting, and peaceful culture for the future based on democratic principles, human rights and national reconciliation. In order to give this a chance of success, the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the East Timorese militias and their instigators in the Indonesian national army (TNI) must be adequately prosecuted and the guilty brought to justice without further delay." Christian Consultation on East Timor (statement signed by 36 Christian organisations and churches)

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

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