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Subject: UN official says military admits rights abuses in Timor
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 13:29:21 GMT

DEC 5 1998

Military admits rights abuses in Timor

JAKARTA -- A senior United Nations official said the Indonesian military has admitted past human-rights abuses in the troubled province of East Timor.

Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN investigator on violence against women, said on Thursday that the military has, however, made commitments to the promotion and protection of human rights in the province, The Jakarta Post reported yesterday. "They do accept that there were past human-rights abuses, including reports on violence against women," she said, before leaving yesterday after a 10-day trip here, including a three-day visit to East Timor.

A Sri Lankan jurist who serves as UN special rapporteur on violence against women, she said that she met victims of violence, the local military commander and other officials in East Timor as part of her mission.

She said local military Chief Colonel Tono Suratmari was ready to consider compensation for women victims of violence, punishment for their perpetrators and programmes for widows who lost their husbands in the conflict.

TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 8HW, UK Phone: 0181 771-2904 Fax: 0181 653-0322 email: Campaigning to expose human rights violations in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh

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