Thursday, October 22, 2009

Groups write UN Security Council on Justice

ETAN coordinated this letter to the UN Security Council on justice and accountability for the people of Timor-Leste. More than 65 individuals representing nearly 50 organizations signed on short notice. Some excerpts below, full text here. La'o Hamutuk sent their own letter and memo.
As you meet this week to discuss the situation in Timor-Leste, we remind you that United Nations -- and more specifically Security Council -- pledges and obligations concerning human rights and accountability for serious human rights crimes remain unfulfilled.

Once again we urge the Security Council to implement the recommendations of the 2005 Commission of Experts (CoE) report and Chega! (Enough!), the final report of the Timor-Leste's Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR). Both reports urge establishing an ad hoc international tribunal should other efforts at justice fail. If anything, recent events confirm that the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia are unwilling or able to pursue justice. It is time for the Council to act.

Recent events have highlighted the necessity for international involvement in prosecuting serious crimes committed in Timor-Leste between 1975 and 1999, including the August arrest and extra-judicial release (under Indonesian pressure) of the former militia leader Martenus Bere. He had been arrested under an outstanding indictment for serious crimes committed in 1999 after crossing the border into Timor-Leste. His release not only undermined the rule of law in Timor-Leste, it clearly demonstrated that the government of Indonesia continues to undermine
efforts by the judiciary in Timor-Leste to prosecute Indonesian citizens accused of serious crimes committed in 1999 and before. There was an outcry from broad segments of Timor-Leste society against Bere's release, as shown by letters recently delivered to you from East Timorese.


We believe that the United Nations and the Council must live up to its promises to deny impunity to worst perpetrators, if only to reinforce your own credibility. We urge you to act now to implement the UN’s repeated promises by allocating the necessary political, financial and legal resources to end impunity for these crimes against humanity.

We strongly believe that real accountability will reinforce democracy and the rule of law in both Indonesia and Timor-Leste, as well as support genuine reconciliation between the two peoples.


A full decade has passed since Indonesia’s violent exit from Timor-Leste. Indonesia has repeatedly demonstrated that it will act to prevent credible prosecution of Indonesian citizens for crimes connected with Indonesia’s occupation of Timor-Leste. We urge Interpol to issue arrest warrants for all those indicted by the Serious Crimes Unit who remain at large, at a minimum to discourage these suspects from traveling internationally. Other sanctions should be considered as well.


No comments:

Post a Comment