Subject: AFIT: Joint Statements on anniversary of Carasscalo massacre

Joint Statement on anniversary of Carasscalo massacre

Today 17 of April 2006, we gather here in this place, a historic place, where we remember our loved ones who was murdered when the militias together with the Indonesian military took the lives of our children, brothers, sisters and friends.

All of us, who gather here today in this place, will give our condolences to the families of those who gave their lives for the liberty of our beloved country Timor. The blood that was spilled in this place gives us the spirit to continue searching for the truth and justice.

It is already 7 years. 7 years of waiting for justice, but it is injustice that we receive in return. 7 years ago, more than 150 people gathered here in this house seeking protection. This house gathered all the people who ran away from their villages because the Indonesian military and their militias were terrorizing, destroying their houses to the point of killing them.

From the 150 people only 45 survived, 12 dead bodies were returned by the Indonesian military, while we do not know where the others are till today. They have disappeared and we can not find them.

It was not enough with the massacre that the Indonesian military did with their militias on the 17 of April 1999; they have also killed more than 25 others and dumped their bodies in the well of this house.

Those that were later killed; we do not know where they were buried. We do not know why the Australian military who were with the INTERFET have kept quiet. And there has been no legal process to this case.

Why it is that everyone wants to keep quiet about these cases, we do not know. However, we can not stay quiet when we know and when we see the wrong doings. We can not stay quiet when there is still injustice among us.

When we speak of justice, we do not just speak in vain. It is not for us to gain a vote to rule. It is not to gain gold and money, but it is because our loved ones with their brave heart gave their body and soul to reach victory for this country.

We will never forget the blood that was spilled in this place. The blood of the innocent people that was spilled here will always remind us that justice needs to be done. It is not just one or two who were killed in this land but thousands of people have lost their lives.

We have accepted reconciliation that our leaders have been talking about. We have accepted those who did the wrongs to live among us again, but is it that no one accept it our plead for justice for our loved ones who have spilled their blood in this land.

We ask our leaders not to loose their political will to keep asking for justice for those who were killed like animals.

The constitution of RDTL, article 160 stated that "

"Acts committed between the 25th of April 1974 and the 31 st of December 1999 that can be considered crimes against humanity of genocide or of war shall be liable to criminal proceedings with the national or international courts."

But until today the government has thought of setting up a tribunal to replace UNTAET's Special Panel. With arrogance, the political leaders decided to set up CAV that is unconstitutional. This is to show that the government has no interest to the victims or those who died for the freedom of this country. The leaders have denied the people that were killed in this place. They say justice has already been achieved when we gained our independence.

We all know that the Ad-Hoc Tribunal that the Indonesian Government has set up was only to serve to wash their hands off the blood they committed. The Indonesian generals with bloods in their hands were not being subjected to the prosecution. The Indonesian prosecutors did not give strong evidence to the court. The the Indonesian Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in East Timor or KPP-HAM have given the Indonesian Government recommendation to prosecute according to their investigation, however only five cases were chosen to be taken court. One of the cases that were chosen is a matter of fact is the case of the massacre that took place in this house. Sadly however, we know that there is not one Indonesian General was indicted. Only Eurico Guterres and Abilio Osorio received sentences of five years jail term but later freed by the court of Appeal.

In the UNTAET Special Panel have only prosecuted the militias who were unable to run away to Indonesia.

It is why us, the victims of 17 April 1999:

1. Give our total support to the Peritus Commission according to the recommendation to the United Nations Secretary General. The recommendation is to set up an independent commission to gather evidence, to make a new investigation, and to set up an independent tribunal for the cases of human rights violations here in East Timor.

2. We also would like to acknowledge the work that that CAVR have done, and their recommendation to set up a tribunal in East Timor.

We do support recomciliation. However, the dignity of the timorese people can not be ignored, should not be forgotten. In the name of all of those who have lost their lives fro East Timor, in their memory, we should fight that justice can happen. Without the truth and without justice there will not be a true reconciliation. Reconciliation can not, should not continue if we ignore the blood of the thousands of innocent Timorese martyrs.

Their memory insists us so. Of us, who had no voice, to fight for justice. So that their death will not be forgotten.

In this day we want to give a minute silence to those who have given their lives for the freedom of this sacred land:

1. Eduardo de Jesus 2. Alberto dos Santos 3. Antonio da Silva Soares 4. Januario Pereira 5. Raul dos Santos Cansela 6. Joao dos Santos 7. Crisanto dos Santos 8. Rafael da Silva 9. Afonso Ribeiro 10. Cesar dos Santos 11. Augustino Benito X. Lay 12. Manelito Carrascalão

And also those who were dumped in this well, without names and without graves.


This article was sent to you by the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP). Through the provision of independent legal analysis, court monitoring and community outreach activities JSMP aims to contribute to and evaluate the ongoing process of building a strong and sustainable justice system in Timor Leste. Visit our website at 

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