Subject: APCET: Justice for Timor Includes Trials for The Masterminds
ASIA-PACIFIC COALITION FOR EAST TIMOR (APCET) 12 November 2002
Justice for Timor Includes Trials for The Masterminds
The Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor marks this day, November 12--as
always-- with memories for the more than 300 East Timorese who lost their lives
on this day in a brutal massacre at the Santa Cruz cemetery by Indonesian
We remember even as we continue to call for justice to be given to the
victims and their families.
We note some of the positive developments in the justice side in East Timor
and Indonesia We are heartened by the first indictment to be issued by the UN
Serious Crimes Unit in East Timor against Indonesian soldiers for their conduct
in 1999. The indictments against Major Jacob Sarosa and Lieutenant. Camilo dos
Santos for the killing of a Dutch journalist and 19 others in 1999 are worthy of
note because they all involve crimes against humanity. All of the counts in the
indictment concern crimes committed directly by members of the Indonesian
battalion commanded by Maj. Sarosa and Lt. Dos Santos and detail the conduct of
Indonesian soldiers independent of their involvement with militia groups in East
We also monitor the ongoing trial of militia leader Eurico Guterres before
the Ad Hoc Human rights Court in Jakarta. Guterres is the first militia leader
to stand trial in the Jakarta court and could face the death penalty if
convicted. We watch the developments in Jakarta-- but not forgetting the
appalling verdicts rendered by the court in mid-August when it sentenced former
East Timor governor Abilio Soares to only three years in prison and acquitted
former East Timor police chief Timbul Silaen and five fellow Indonesian officers
-- Army Colonel Herman Sedyono, Colonel Liliek Kushadianto, Major Achmad
Syamsudin, Sugito and former Suai police chief Gatot Subiyaktoro -- for 1999
We note that the indictments and trials are for the crimes committed in 1999.
But what about the Sta. Cruz massacre which occurred eleven years ago today? Or
the killings which commenced in 1975 and continued far beyond?
The Sta. Cruz massacre remains in the minds of the world because it was
vividly captured on video and eventually galvanized international condemnation
of Indonesia's brutal occupation of this tiny nation.
We use this occasion therefore to recall the direct involvement and
complicity of leaders in the powerful nations in making possible the 1975
invasion and the crimes against humanity which occurred in East Timor.
We continue to hold that Ford and Kissinger of the United States, Whitlam and
Woolcott of Australia and the various governments which gave arms and military
training and diplomatic cover to Indonesia are just as responsible for the
crimes in East Timor as Generals Suharto, Murdani, Wiranto and the other
Indonesian army officers.
We heed the plea of the East Timorese President for this day not to be
commemorated only with tears but with new sweat, and for East Timorese to hold
on to the memories of those killed today but to put all efforts in moving
But as members of this human community who were outraged by the crimes
against humanity in East Timor and desire to end impunity for the Indonesian
generals and their accomplices, we continue to ask for justice for the East
Because we recognize that the ongoing justice processes in East Timor and
Indonesia are limited by mandate and political will, we therefore again ask the
United Nations to convene an international tribunal for East Timor, in
accordance with what its own International Commission of Inquiry on East Timor (ICI-ET)
had recommended nearly three years ago.
Establish the international tribunal now! Prosecute the masterminds and
conspirators in the crimes in East Timor! Justice for East Timor!
see also see also Human
Rights & Justice page
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