Saturday, 31 May 2008 20:00 John M. Miller (ETAN) Letters

 International Coalition Urges UN to Be Active for Justice for East Timorese. 

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, an international coalition of more than 90 human rights and other organizations urged the UN and the international community "to fulfill their long-standing commitment to see that justice is done for crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste" during Indonesia's two and one-half decade occupation.

The letter comes as the bi-lateral Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF) prepares to hand its report over to the presidents of Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

The letter said the CTF report "must not stand as the last word on these issues .... The right to know (the truth) and the right to justice are inalienable, and are a bulwark against the culture of impunity represented by [Indonesia's] Ad Hoc Court and the CTF."

The letter noted the April release of Eurico Guterres, the last remaining defendant of Ad Hoc Court. All those tried by the court have now been acquitted bringing that "farcical process to an end."

The letter urged the Secretary-General "to work towards the creation of an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for those who bear greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed from 1975 onwards, not just in 1999," as recommended by The independent Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the UN's own Commission of Experts.

The organizational signers were joined by more than 30 academic and other concerned individuals.

The letter with a list of signers is available in English, Bahasa Indonesia and Tetum at

In April, 34 members of the U.S. Congress urged the U.S. administration to "take a leadership role" in bringing those responsible for human rights violations perpetrated against the people of Timor-Leste during and immediately following the Indonesian occupation to justice. "If credible trials and appropriate punishments of those responsible for major human rights violations are to occur, an international effort is needed," they wrote.

The congressional letter specifically urged the U.S. to respond to the CAVR report. A number of its recommendations and findings concern the U.S., the UN, and the broader international community.

Image Courtesy of the UN

John M. Miller
National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: (718)596-7668 Mobile phone: (917)690-4391
Skype: john.m.miller
Web site:

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