Subject: JP: RI urged to support UN commission of experts

Jakarta Post

May 04, 2005

RI urged to support UN commission

JAKARTA: International Human Rights Advocacy (HRWG), a coalition of Indonesian non-governmental organizations, urged the government to cooperate with three legal experts assigned by the United Nations to investigate the failure to punish any military officers over the violence that accompanied East Timor's independence vote in 1999.

HRWG said in a press release on Tuesday an April 28 UN Security Council resolution clearly stipulated that all parties should fully cooperate with the work of the experts.

It added that by cooperating with the experts, the government would have the opportunity formally to explain what happened with the court proceedings against the military officers accused of responsibility in the violence.

The HRWG said rejecting the UN resolution would only damage Indonesia's reputation overseas.

With the alleged support of military forces, pro-Jakarta militias killed hundreds of people in the aftermath of a UN-organized vote in 1999 that ended Indonesia's 24-year rule in East Timor.

In response to international pressure, the Indonesian human rights court charged 18 people, most of them police and military officers. Twelve were acquitted and five others had their sentences overturned on appeal.

The Indonesian government previously refused entry to the UN experts, saying Jakarta and Dili had already set up a commission to investigate the violence and promote reconciliation. - - JP


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