Subject: WP: ET activist calls for int'l tribunal

The Washington Post

February 14, 2003, Friday, Final Edition


HEADLINE: Envoys Among Pilgrims To Saudi Arabia

BYLINE: Nora Boustany ....

Jose Luis de Oliveira, founder of Yayasan Hak, a human rights institute in East Timor, was in Washington last week to reiterate a call for an international tribunal to try a number of senior Indonesian army officers.

He said that so far 11 of 13 Indonesians accused of committing atrocities in East Timor have been acquitted following trials in Indonesian courts in Jakarta. In addition, only two East Timorese involved in militia activity organized by the Indonesian military have been found guilty, getting light sentences.

One militia leader, Erico Gutierres, who operated in the East Timorese capital Dili and was sentenced to five years in prison, is already free and has been seen in western Timor, the Indonesian side of the island, according to de Oliveira. He said Gutierres has had meetings with militias in camps there and was actively organizing dangerous actions.

The human rights activist said eight people have been killed in recent incursions into East Timor by militia members. "There has been no justice," he said in an interview last Friday after briefing staff members on Capitol Hill.

He also cited problems with Australia. Under international law, he said, if two countries lie closer than 400 miles, then the maritime boundary is a median line between the two. He said Australia has not been honoring that law and has been extracting oil in waters that belong to East Timor.

interim Timor Sea Treaty on the day the country became independent, last May 20. In his view, the agreement gives Australia the majority of gas and oil resources in contravention of international law.

East Timor is among the poorest countries in Asia. The country's economy could hinge on the gas and oil revenue, de Oliveira said.

The treaty, ratified by East Timor last year, is pending in the Australian Parliament. Australian officials have rejected allegations that East Timor was treated unfairly in negotiations over the reserves.

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