East Timor ACTION ALERT May/ June 2001
TAKE ACTION TO END THE REFUGEE CRISIS!
MILITARY AND MILITIA TERROR CONTINUES FOR EAST TIMORESE IN INDONESIAN
WORSENING CAMP CONDITIONS, CONTINUING MILITIA VIOLENCE, PLANS FOR
REFUGEE REGISTRATION AND UPCOMING ELECTIONS IN EAST TIMOR make now a
crucial time to contact your Senators, Representative, and Bush
administration officials about East Timor's refugee crisis. Nearly two
years after being forced from their homes by the Indonesian military and
its militias, 80,000 to 100,000 East Timorese continue to languish in
militia-controlled refugee camps in West Timor, Indonesia. Militia
intimidation, violence, and disinformation make it impossible for refugees
to freely and safely choose between repatriation to East Timor and
resettlement in Indonesia. Indonesian plans for refugee registration on
June 6 by military and militia-associated groups will put refugees in
danger. Recent reports from aid organizations in the West Timor camps warn
of critical food shortages and epidemics, with as many as five children
dying every day. Violence against women and girls, including sexual slavery, has
also been reported. Refugees who do not return to East Timor soon will be
unable to vote on the structure of their new government. U.S. ACTION IS
NEEDED NOW TO RESOLVE THE REFUGEE CRISIS!
CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE:
Call the Congressional switchboard at
202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators' and Representative's offices. Ask
to speak with the foreign affairs staff person in the office. On the
internet, check http://www.congress.gov
for Congressional fax and e-mail information.
CONTACT THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT:
Call Assistant Secretary of State
for East Asia and the Pacific James Kelly, phone 202-647-9596, fax
- The U.S. must pressure the Indonesian government to finally and
verifiably disarm and disband militias in West Timor (Indonesia). In
addition to violence against East Timorese refugees, the militias
stage cross-border attacks into East Timor. The militia must be
disarmed and militia leaders arrested to resolve the East Timorese
refugee crisis, to end the increased militarization of West Timor, and
to provide security for the new nation of East Timor.
- The U.S. must give active, unconditional support to an international
tribunal on crimes against humanity committed in East Timor, and
provide support for East Timor's justice system. The international
community must hold Indonesian military and police personnel and
militia leaders responsible for crimes committed in West and East
Timor. Justice is necessary for reconciliation and nation-building in
East Timor, and for democracy and the rule of law in Indonesia.
- A credible refugee registration can only occur with significant
international participation and oversight of the entire process to
ensure that refugees can freely and safely choose between repatriation
to East Timor and resettlement in Indonesia. Registration efforts made
without these conditions to meet arbitrary deadlines like June 6, 2001
are futile and dangerous.
- The U.S. must maintain a complete ban on weapons sales, training,
and all support for the Indonesian military at least until all
refugees who wish to do so have returned home, and those responsible
for crimes in East and West Timor have been brought to trial in
accordance with international standards.
Your efforts do make a difference. Thanks to the actions of people like
you, we maintained a complete cut-off of military training and weapons
sales to Indonesia and ensured U.S. support for the new nation of East
Timor last year.
Backgrounder: East Timorese Refugees and the Need for Justice
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