Wednesday, February 3, 2010

TL Groups write UN Security Council on Justice with international support

East Timorese groups, with international support from ETAN and others, have written to the UN Security Council urging the renewed UN mission include the following:
  1. Establish a mechanism during the UNMIT mission which will create an International Tribunal.
  2. Expand the mandate of the Serious Crimes Investigation Team (SCIT) to include some of the most grievous crimes committed prior to 1999, such as the 1975 invasion, 1983 Kraras Massacre, 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre, and others.
  3. Give SCIT the authority and sufficient resources to prepare and publish formal indictments for cases they have investigated. 
 They write
...the current UNMIT mandate only includes investigation processes but not prosecutions, and only covers serious crimes committed in 1999. We are worried that this limited mandate will not end the cycle of impunity in Timor-Leste. We are very concerned that if impunity prevails in Timor-Leste it will nourish impunity in other countries, and all of us who struggle for human rights will not succeed. Therefore, if the United Nations fails to end impunity for past crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste, there can be no accountability for ongoing crimes, such as those committed during the 2006 crisis in our country.
 See here for the full letter with signers

Timor-Leste's UN Ambassador fired by Foreign Minister over Burma vote

La'o Hamutuk reports that Timor-Leste's Ambassador to the UN was fired by Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa, because he voted in favor of a General Assembly resolution on Burma (Myanmar) last December.

Santos had voted in favor of a General Assembly resolution on human rights in Burma (Myanmar) following Timor-Leste's previous policy of supporting this annual resolution.

see more details here

Monday, February 1, 2010

West Papua Report February 2010

The February 2010 West Papua Report, 69th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans, is now available. The series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) Back issues are posted online at


Papuans have also staged rallies in support of calls for a referendum on West Papua's political status and to welcome efforts of international support groups. New research has pointed to the persistence and perniciousness of the Indonesian military's illegal logging. A new attack on Freeport personnel re-enforces analyses that Indonesian security forces are orchestrating the violence. An Indonesian NGO and the Papuan branch of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission say that rights protection in West Papua declined in 2009. A Human Rights Watch report details rights violations in 2009. The Indonesian military has named a senior Special Forces (Kopassus) officer to head up the military in West Papua. The appointment conflicts with Papuan efforts to begin a dialogue with the central government and to demilitarize West Papua. The man chosen to replace independence leader Kelly Kwalik, killed by the police in December, has pledged to continue Kwalik's pursuit of a peaceful dialogue with Indonesian authorities. The police who killed Kwalik have been honored for their action. The Indonesian government plans to ban more books, including some which address Papuan issues. The Indonesian Government is moving forward with plans for a "food estate" in West Papua which will expropriate land from local people and bring many non-Papuans to the site as laborers. A local union and others have condemned the plan as a "land grab."

Australians - Please e-mail the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade

via Clinton Fernandes

Sample Letter below:

Dear Senators,

As members of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, your committee has made several recommendations relating to Australia's involvement in peacekeeping missions.

This story in The Sydney Morning Herald states that a 65-year-old East Timorese mother of nine was killed by an Australian army vehicle in East Timor, yet "no Australian soldiers deployed in the International Stabilisation Force in East Timor have contacted them to explain what happened, express regret or offer compensation, expected in Timorese tradition."

Please obtain information from the Department of Defence about how the family is coping with the loss of a loved one. Please take steps to ensure the family is compensated adequately.

Please advise me of the Department's response as soon as possible. I can be contacted at the address below.