|Subject: CONG: Senate letters re. Eurico
and other militia leaders
November 3, 2000
The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton President of the United States The White House Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to urge that your Administration take immediate action to formally designate Mr. Eurico Guterres and other leaders of the militias in West Timor at this time to be terrorists pursuant to current provisions of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Export Administration Act and Arms Control Act as amended.
As you know, Eurico Guterres is widely implicated by many first-hand accounts as a key leader of the outlaw militias who are responsible for widespread death, destruction, organized crime, and mayhem inside East Timor and in the refugee camps on the border. He was reportedly responsible for inciting the attacks on September 6th that resulted in the deaths of three employees of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), including an American citizen named Mr. Carlos Caceres, and at least eleven others. This was the worst attack on UN civilian workers ever, and the worst of more than 100 armed assaults on aid workers and refugees reported by the UNHCR in West Timor since September, 1999, when these militias played the leading role in forcing more than 200,000 East Timorese from their homes and into camps across the border.
In a chilling repetition of last year's post-referendum violence in East Timor, virtually all international personnel have now been evacuated from West Timor, leaving local human rights, humanitarian aid workers, and more than 100,000 East Timorese refugees at the mercy of leaders of the terrorist militia organizations. In fact, as recently as September 23-24, I received accounts from eyewitnesses that Eurico Guterres was actively involved in inciting the mob unrest and turmoil that spoiled the launching of the first phase of the new and long over-due action plan set in motion by the Government of Indonesia to disarm and disband these militias. Despite his recent arrest, it is likely that Mr. Guterres will be released from his current detainment in Jakarta. In the meantime, he is being hailed as a national hero by several Indonesian leaders. I am further troubled by the refusal of Indonesian authorities to extradite Eurico Gutteres to East Timor, as requested by the UN in East Timor. The government's lack of cooperation sets an ominous precedent regarding the pursuit of justice for the people of East Timor.
Mr. President, there is clear, compelling, and mounting evidence that Eurico Guterres and other ring-leaders among these criminal militias are guilty of crimes against humanity. They continue to act with impunity and to engage in egregious violations of the basic human rights of the long-suffering Timorese people. They must be stopped. Toward this end, the Government of the United States needs to publicly identify and formally declare these men to be the international terrorists that they are. This would be a very important step toward calling them to account and bringing them to justice before an international tribunal or otherwise.
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin
The Honorable Megawati Sukarnoputri
Dear Madame Vice-President:
We are writing with deep concern to ask about your relationship with Mr. Eurico Guterres.
As you know, Mr. Guterres has been widely implicated as a key leader of the West-Timor-based militias responsible for widespread death, destruction, and criminal activity inside East Timor and in refugee camps in West Timor.
We have received reports that this man, who is personally responsible for so many human rights violations and so much suffering among the East Timorese people, was invited as your guest to attend the recent PDI Congress. We were further surprised to learn that Mr. Guterres has been appointed head of your party's youth wing, Banten Pemuda We have also been told that he frequently attends meetings with you, or at least your principal advisors, and may even be afforded protection, official standing, and respect that ought not be extended to anyone so widely known for committing serious crimes against humanity. In fact, as recently as September 23-24, we received accounts from eyewitnesses that he was actively involved in inciting the mob unrest and turmoil that set back the first phase of the long-overdue action plan launched by the Government of Indonesia to disarm and eventually disband the militias. Clearly, he is an acknowledged leader of the militias who are thwarting progress toward the establishment of a just and lasting peace in East and West Timor.
We don't want to make any rash or premature judgments about your possible dealings with Mr. Guterres, but we are deeply troubled by reports suggesting that you and your advisors may be directly or indirectly shielding this man and other notorious ring-leaders among the militias at a time when these criminals urgently need to be brought to justice. That is why we are taking the step of writing to you personally to ask you to set the record straight as to the nature and scope of your ties to Mr. Guterres. We would like to determine what steps you are willing to take to assist in compelling this man and his cohort leaders among the heavily-armed militias to at least surrender their weapons, disband, and turn to non-violent means of pursuing their concerns and interests. We firmly believe that militia leaders in West Timor responsible for murder, rape, and the destruction of East Timor should be arrested and transferred to East Timor, in accordance with the April Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of Indonesia and the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor and would request that you use your leadership to endorse this process. We therefore are troubled by the refusal of Indonesian authorities to extradite Mr. Guterres to East Timor, as requested by the UN in East Timor. I fear your government's lack of cooperation sets an ominous precedent for the pursuit of justice for the people of East Timor.
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration and prompt reply to our questions and concerns.
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