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East Timor ACTION Network ALERT

Take Action for Justice & Peace for East Timor & Indonesia

Two House Letters – on Justice for East Timor and on US Assistance to Indonesian Military

One Senate Letter – on a UN Special Representative to Indonesia

Call Your Representative and Senators Today to Sign on to All Three

Two important letters are now circulating in the House of Representatives, along with one in the Senate. Call your Representative and Senators today to sign on.

The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121; ask for your Senators' and Representative’s offices. Then ask to speak with the foreign policy aide. If you don't know who your Representative or Senators are, go to www.congress.org to find out.

Urge your Representative to sign:

Urge your Senators:

Here is a list of signatures on the three letters:.

Rep. Lowey/Wolf letter to Annan on justice for East Timor: Reps. Sherrod Brown, McGovern, Baldwin, Farr, Shimkus, Chris Smith, Van Hollen, Oberstar, Lee, Payne, Weiner, DeLauro, Barney Frank, Capuano, McCarthy, Robert Brady, Norton, Eleanor Holmes; Strickland; Clay; English; Andrews, Rob; Maloney; DeFazio; Evans; Filner; Engel; Rush; Udall, Mark; Lofgren; Kennedy, Patrick; Renzi; McCollum; Kucinich; Price, David; Bordallo; McDermott; Eshoo

Rep. Evans/Smith/Tancredo letter to Rumsfeld on military ties: In addition to Reps. Evans (D-IL); Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Tancredo (R-CO), signers to date include: Reps. McGovern; Sanders; Baldwin; Watson; B Frank; Lowey; Grijalva; DeFazio; Markey; Maloney; Oberstar; Weiner; Hinchey;  Capuano; Payne; Lee; Norton; McCarthy, Carolyn; Brady, Bob; Thompson, Bennie; Schakowsky; Strickland; Clay; Holt; Filner; Olver; Kennedy; Udall, Mark; Lofgren; McCollum; Price; McDermott; Eshoo; Woolsey; Millender-McDonald; Gerlach; Hooley

If your Representative has only signed one of the letters call and thank her/him for her/his support and ask that s/he sign the other letter.

Senator Lautenberg (NJ) letter: Senators Dodd (CT), Levin (MI), Kohl (WI), Feingold (WI), Feinstein (CA), Boxer (CA), Leahy (VT), Dorgan (ND), Wyden (OR), Corzine (NJ), Stabenow (MI); Durbin (IL); Sarbanes (MD), Bingaman (NM), and Murray (WA).

For questions or to report responses, contact Karen Orenstein, 202-544-6911 or John Miller, 718-596-7668, john@etan.org. For more information on the issues and for the full text of the letters, visit ETAN’s website at www.etan.org.


Excerpts of the three letters follow:

Lowey/Wolf Letter on justice (see www.etan.org/legislation/04lowwlf.htm):

Dear Secretary General Annan,

We are writing out of concern for the people of East Timor. As Members of Congress who have long been interested in securing East Timor's future, we are determined to ensure that the international community holds responsible those who committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in East Timor….

In early 2000, the U.N. Security Council decided to give Indonesia a chance to conduct its own prosecutions of those responsible. As three High Commissioners for Human Rights, the U.S. government and numerous other observers have reported, the Indonesian Ad Hoc Human Rights Court on East Timor was deeply flawed. This makes the continued existence of the U.N. East Timor Serious Crimes Unit (SCU), and its continued focus on investigations, as well as trials and appeals, essential. We urge you to reconsider the recommendation, made in your April 29, 2004, report on the U.N. Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), that the SCU alter its focus in the short term and end its mission entirely by May, 2005. Ending SCU investigations at that point could leave an estimated 700 murder victims and thousands of victims of rape, torture, and other crimes against humanity in 1999 alone without justice

We understand that you are also considering appointing a commission of experts to examine existing justice processes in East Timor and Indonesia and to make recommendations for further steps. Although we believe it does not substitute for an international tribunal, we support such a commission and would urge it to carefully consider recommending an international tribunal on East Timor if it finds that current processes have not achieved justice. In doing so, we concur with similar recommendations of the Joint Mission of Special Rapporteurs and the U.N. International Commission of Inquiry….

The United Nations must keep its promise of justice for East Timor. East Timor's political leaders have repeatedly urged the international community to take the lead on this issue, and East Timorese civil society continues to seek international support for achieving meaningful justice. …


Evans Letter on Military Relations with Indonesia (excerpt, see www.etan.org/legislation/04rumsfld.htm)

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld,

We were surprised and disappointed to learn that the Bilateral Defense Dialogue between the U.S. Pacific Command and the Indonesian military (TNI) is scheduled to reconvene. This additional step towards resumption of normalized military to military relations without setting benchmarks for a reform of the TNI is a cause for concern.

As you may know, a Bilateral Defense Dialogue (BDD) between Indonesia and the U.S. has not occurred since 1997, in part because of the tremendous TNI violence committed in East Timor in 1999. Since then, the TNI has successfully evaded accountability for its well-documented crimes against humanity and war crimes in East Timor, and there has been little progress in improving human rights practices in Indonesia. Additionally, the TNI continues it brutal tactics in Aceh, Papua, and elsewhere. There are reports that the TNI has extensive connections to the terror group Laskar Jihad, which has re-emerged in renewed violence in Maluku and is operating in Papua. The TNI is also implicated in the murder of U.S. citizens Rick Spier and Ted Burgon, in what the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta described as "an outrageous act of terrorism."

Given the fact that so many serious human rights issues relating to the Indonesian military remain unresolved, we respectfully ask you to reconsider resuming the Bilateral Defense Dialogue. We believe a resumption of the dialogue at this time would go against the strong posture Congress and Executive Branch took in the late 1990's to severely limit military assistance, joint exercises, and exchanges with the TNI until human rights issues were addressed….

We request that the Department of Defense voice its concern with all levels of leadership in the TNI about the brutal human rights record of the Indonesian military…


Senate Letter (excerpt, see http://etan.org/action/action2/04laut.htm):

Dear Mr. Secretary General:

We are writing to urge you to appoint a United Nations Special Representative to Indonesia to monitor and report on the situations in Aceh and Papua. This Special Representative would also make recommendations regarding steps the UN Security Council and General Assembly might undertake to end the troubling and deadly conflicts that continue to engulf these regions.

In Aceh, the declaration of martial law on May 19, 2003, has had an extraordinary human cost. While it is impossible to verify the precise number of extra-judicial incarcerations and killings, accounts suggest that more than 1300 people have been killed in the past year, the majority of whom have been civilians. Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights’ (Komnas HAM) ad-hoc team for Aceh recently reported on the “attacks against unarmed civilians, including victims who were murdered, tortured, sexually abused or raped, or others who the court had not yet proved were rebels.” The report also cited kidnapping, child abuse, arson, and robbery. The Komnas HAM team alleged that most violations were committed by the Indonesian security forces, including both high level political and military authorities, though some deaths have been attributed to the rebel Free Aceh Movement. The conflict has also generated massive refugee flows across international borders, with thousands of others displaced internally….

In Papua, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have long documented human rights violations. Recently, the Indonesian military’s creation of a militia has exacerbated tensions between indigenous Papuans and migrants. A military campaign in the Central Highlands has led to an inestimable number of civilian deaths and significant population displacement. The fate of those hiding in the Papuan forests remains unknown, as military authorities have prohibited provision of humanitarian assistance. Human rights organizations have endured intimidation and threats by government security forces operating with impunity. …

The international community has remained too quiet for too long regarding the conflicts in Aceh and Papua. The scale of human rights violations in these two Indonesian provinces warrants special international attention. Therefore, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to Indonesia to monitor and report on the situations in Aceh and Papua. We look forward to hearing from you regarding these concerns.


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