Friday, July 1, 2016

A Timorese View on Justice for Suharto's Crimes

A Timorese View: Time to End Impunity for Suharto's Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste

Tetum: Agora mak tempu atu hapara impunidade ba krime sira Suharto nian iha Indonesia no Timor-Leste

Bahasa Indonesia: Sekarang Saatnya Memutus Impunitas untuk Kejahatan Soeharto di Indonesia dan Timor-Leste


some excerpts:

The tragedy of 1965-1966 is part of a long history of massacres by the Indonesian military. As East Timorese, we know very well the brutality of the Indonesian dictator's regime. I was born after the initial Indonesian invasion in 1975, but grew up under the occupation. As a young student, I saw the Indonesian military intimidate and abuse youth suspected of supporting East Timorese independence. We were not safe anywhere: Suharto's troops would seize us at home, school or on the streets; many were never seen again. I watched helplessly as soldiers murdered my cousin, Luis Gusmão Pereira, in a public market in Triloedae-Laga. 
....
The chains of impunity remain strong in Indonesia; U.S. leaders who supported crimes against humanity in Indonesia and elsewhere continue to avoid accountability and punishment. The U.S. and Indonesia claim they are democratic and law-abiding nations, but they openly resist holding their own officials accountable.
East Timorese demonstrate for justice.
Photo by Karen Orenstein/ETAN
.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Indonesia opposes UN appointing expert to report on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Says won't cooperate with expert.


Council establishes mandate on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

from http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20220&LangID=E

Action on Resolution on Protection against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

In a resolution (A/HRC/32/L.2/Rev.1) on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 18 against and 6 abstentions as amended, the Council decides to appoint, for a period of three years, an Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, with the mandate to assess the implementation of existing international human rights instruments with regard to ways to overcome violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity; raise awareness of violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to identify and address the root causes of violence and discrimination; and engage in dialogue and to consult with States and other relevant stakeholders.  The Council also requests the Independent Expert to report annually to the Human Rights Council, starting from its thirty-fifth session, and to the General Assembly, starting from its seventy-second session.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (23): Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

Against (18): Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, China, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Togo, and United Arab Emirates.

Abstentions (6): Botswana, Ghana, India, Maldives, Philippines, and South Africa. 

....

Indonesia, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, reaffirmed its commitment to the elimination of violence against all persons as defined in international human rights treaties.  The Council should take a constructive and cooperative approach, especially when concerned with issues touching on morality.  Members of the Council should refrain from imposing values which did not enjoy international consensus.  Indonesia was concerned that the draft resolution was divisive.  While welcoming several amendments, Indonesia considered that the basic proposal remained the same, and for that reason was unable to support the draft resolution.  Indonesia also wanted it put on the record that Indonesia would not engage with the mandate holder.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Look, then ACT

see full alert here: http://etan.org/shattersilence/look_of_silence_on_PBS.htm

Watch The Look of Silence on PBS,
Act on U.S.-backed Massacres
 in Indonesia

The Oscar-nominated documentary, THE LOOK OF SILENCE will be broadcast Monday, June 27, on the PBS documentary showcase POV. We urge you to watch this important and disturbing film and then take action on U.S. support for mass violence in Indonesia.


1) Invite some friends to watch the documentary with you. Organize a discussion using ETAN's discussion guide.

2) Take a moment to urge your Senators to support Senator Tom Udall's (D-NM) S.Res. 273. It supports justice for the victims of the 1965-1966 mass murder in Indonesia, urges the U.S. to release all its records of these crimes, and expresses concern about the lack of accountability.

You can easily e-mail your Senators from here. Thanks to all who have e-mailed so far.
S.Res. 273 urges Indonesia to consider a truth, justice, and reconciliation commission to address crimes against humanity and other human rights violations and calls on all relevent U.S. government departments and agencies make available to the public all records from that time. Read more about the S.Res. 273 here: http://etan.org/news/2015/10senate.htm

3) Sign our petition urging the U.S. government to take two immediate steps:
a) declassify and release all documents related to the U.S. role in the 1965/66 mass violence, and b) formally acknowledge the U.S. role in facilitating the 1965-66 violence and its subsequent support for the brutalities of the Suharto regime.
For more you can do, go to http://etan.org/shattersilence/


Support ETAN. We need your support to continue our work for justice and accountability. Please donate today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

ETAN Calls for an End to Indonesia's Silencing of West Papuan Protesters

ETAN Calls for an End to Indonesia's Silencing of West Papuan Protesters

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) condemns ongoing violations of the rights of West Papuans to freedom of expression and calls for an end to Indonesia's attacks against Papuan protesters.
 
A large peaceful demonstration in Jayapura in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. Photo: Tabloid Jub 
Peaceful demonstration in Jayapura in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. Photo: Tabloid Jubi 
"Indonesia's continued repression of West Papuan protests is unacceptable," said John M. Miller, National Coordinator of ETAN. "Indonesia must end the arrests, provide permits for demonstrations, and -- most importantly -- respond positively to the protesters' demands for self-determination."


On Monday, May 30, in a pre-emptive move, Indonesian police rounded up hundreds of West Papuans as they prepared to protest in Jayapura. Dozens of others were also seized in Wamena and in the Northern Sulawesi city of Manado. On May 2, 1724 were arrested as they marched or prepared to march in towns throughout the region. Police have made clear that they will continue to suppress pro-independence expression in West Papua.


Read the rest here: http://etan.org/news/2016/06wpapua.htm 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Remembering Michael Ratner

Remembering Michael Ratner


Democracy Now! Suing Dictators Around the World:
A Look at How Michael Ratner Helped Reshape Human Rights Law

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network is saddened to learn of the death of human rights attorney and ETAN supporter Michael Ratner, 72. Michael was at the forefront of many legal struggles for justice both within the U.S. and internationally. He served as President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he pioneered the use of universal jurisdiction and U.S. law to bring rights violators to justice.

In 1994, Michael and CCR successfully sued Major-General Sintong Panjaitan for his role in the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre of more than 270 East Timorese. A U.S. District Court ordered the general to pay substantial compensatory and punitive damages to Helen Todd, the mother of Kamal Bamadhaj, the only non-East Timorese killed that day. Later, also with the help of Michael and CCR, several East Timorese sued Indonesian General Johny Lumintang for his role in the military and militia violence which surrounded the 1999 vote on independence. After hearing testimony from the East Timorese and experts, a U.S. magistrate entered a large judgement against the general that was later over-turned on a technicality.

Michael also inspired one of ETAN's most unique actions. Under a long-existing procedure, we requested a temporary street renaming supporting Timor-Leste near the Indonesian consulate in New York. After we were turned down on overtly political grounds, CCR sued the city on our behalf. On July 17, 1999, ETAN dedicated a street sign naming 68th Street "East Timor Way."

Speaking at a discussion organized in 2001 by ETAN on the 10th anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre, Michael reflected on the success of the Timor's drive for independence. "These struggles can be won," he said. "It's a lesson we can all take away from this."

We thank Michael for his dedication, inspiration, and tenacity. Our condolences to his family,friends and colleagues.

More about Michael Ratner

Video: Suing Dictators Around the World: A Look at How Michael Ratner Helped Reshape Human Rights Law, Democracy Now! May 12, 2016

Michael Ratner, Lawyer Who Won Rights for Guantánamo Prisoners, Dies at 72, New York Times,
May 11, 2016

PUBLIC LIVES; Still Tilting at Windmills, and Fighting for Rights, New York Times,  August 2, 2002