Subject: International Tribunal the only way forward, says LBH

Suara Pembaruan, 30 October 2000 Slightly abridged

An international tribunal is the only hope for bringing cases of crimes against humanity in East Timor to court. To this day, Indonesia still has no legislation which would enable these crimes to be tried, said Irianto Subiakto, director of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute. LBH.

If a law on a human rights court is used for the East Timor cases, this will mean we are not respecting our own constitution, specifically the amendment to Article 28 which rules out retroactivity under all circumstances.

'By calling for an international tribunal, we are respecting the contents of that amended paragraph of our constitution,' he said.

The attorney-general's office has admitted that it has no idea what law will be used to try crimes against humanity in East Timor because the law on a human rights court is still under consideration by parliament and it is not clear when the law will be enacted.

In Irianto's view, for Indonesia to go ahead and try these cases, we would be violating our own constitution. To do so would be seen by the international community as not being serious, and as meaning that Indonesia is incapable of upholding human rights.

He said that Indonesia confronts a serious dilemma over how to handle these cases and suggested that the Supreme Court should issue a legal opinion to ensure that courts conduct their cases without bias and in an objective fashion.

November Menu
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter V3.5.8, is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from