Subject: LUSA: Entire Indonesian occupation must be judged, says US rights group

14-08-2002 13:25:00. Notícia nº 4000855 Temas: new destaque3

East Timor: Entire Indonesian occupation must be judged, says US rights group

An American NGO campaigning for human rights in East Timor called Wednesday for the setting up of an international tribunal to punish crimes against humanity committed throughout the 24-year Indonesian occupation of the territory, as opposed to the two months currently being focused on by an Indonesian court.

As an ad hoc tribunal in Jakarta announced its first verdict Wednesday, sentencing a former governor of East Timor to three years' imprisonment for failure to prevent massacres, the US-based East Timor Action Network (ETAN) said in a press release that the Indonesian trials are "so flawed, regardless of their outcome, they cannot satisfy the need for justice for East Timor".

"The conduct of the trials confirms that their purpose was to deflect international criticism rather than get to the truth", said John Miller of ETAN in the press release.

"If those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity go unpunished, there will be serious implications for the healing and reconstruction process in East Timor and the rule of law in Indonesia, added Miller.

"Nobody was tried for the many atrocities that occurred outside of these very narrow time periods and locations (Aug.-Sept. 1999 and only in three of Timor`s 13 districts). Without an international tribunal, those most responsible for orchestrating the violence and devastation in 1999 and before will inevitably remain free", said Miller.

CJB -Lusa-

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