Selected postings from east-timor (reg.easttimor)

Subject: APCET: Justice for Timor Includes Trials for The Masterminds


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 troops.

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 Timor.

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 crimes.

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 forward.

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 Timorese.

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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