|Subject: Commission of Truth and Friendship
- A Stage Play for Human Rights Abusers
Commission of Truth and Friendship - A Stage Play for Human Rights
"The United Nations condemns all violence and acts that support of
violence in East Timor, calls for their immediate end, and demands that
all those responsible for such violence be brought to justice"
(Security Council Resolution, 1999)
The request to invite Indonesian high ranking military officers from
26 - 30 March 2007 to a second public hearing will have a strong potential
of producing fabricating facts and altering findings of crimes against
humanity committed in 1999. We urge all Commissioners to act independently
and seriously when developing accumulated evidence of human rights abuses
in both countries.
The fabrication of facts and alteration of findings are done to avoid
accountability among Indonesian military officers - who were involved in
the illegal occupation and who would take part in the proposed amnesty for
those providing testimony, based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- and are simply undermining the quest for justice.
An indication of fact fabrication and alteration of findings is
Firstly, from the very beginning, Indonesian military officers were
already rejecting the independent findings of crimes committed in 1999 as
a result of a direct order from Jakarta. They continue to assert that the
crimes committed were 'merely a dynamic act' of individual soldiers who
were emotional after the result of a popular referendum was announced.
This rejection goes against many ground facts and documents from
independent researchers from both countries which clearly show that
Jakarta is responsible for the atrocities.
Secondly, the "black sheep" scenario refers to UNAMET.
Despite the findings that the crimes were ordered by Jakarta, a desperate
position of Indonesian military officers is to turn the allegation towards
UNAMET as the instigator of crimes. This failed tactic was expanded to
cover up the atrocities the Indonesian military committed and waives their
Thirdly, members of the Commission are not fully ready to oppose some
statements given by defendants that are untrue and to check these against
available findings in documents and international reports about the crimes
against humanity in Timor Leste. It seems as if the public hearing is
merely a forum to mislead the public - that the atrocity was a horizontal
conflict between groups in Timor Leste, and that the Indonesian
authorities were not ready to prevent the violence from spreading.
Based on these three indications, we are convinced that Indonesian
military officers will potentially use in next week's public hearings and
will be prioritized by the Indonesian Commissioners. The fabrication of
facts and alteration of statements by the Indonesian military and
government officers as their political strategy will thus be accepted
formally by the Commission or worse it will be used by Indonesian
Commissioners to convince their Timor Leste counterparts that these claims
Based on all the above findings, we therefore:
a.. Demand all Commissioners to work independently and professionally
based upon universal standards and criteria of being human rights workers
and truth seekers. It is important to highlight this fact because there is
the tendency by Commissioners to ignore the MoU signed and prioritized by
the national interest that are represented instead.
a.. Demand that the Commission of Truth and Friendship reject any
statements and testimonies that are contrary to the facts and documents,
which have been well-proven in terms of integrity. This action is
fundamentally important because the Commission's mandate is seek the
truth, not to document political scenarios and interests in order to cover
a.. Continue to demand that the presidents of Timor Leste and Indonesia
consider amending the provisions of the MoU that contradicts with
universal laws on human rights so that the Commission's work will gain
international credibility, and that the truth-seeking will be followed up
with judicial mechanisms.
"individuals committing human rights violations must be
responsible and victims of human rights violation shall recieve effective
remedy, including compensation" - Committee for Human Rights, UN,
Jakarta - Bangkok, 23 March
 During Soeharto's regime, military officers served under the ABRI (Angkatan
Bersenjata Republik Indonesia) which consisted of the three military
services - the army, navy, and air force, plus the police until it was
separated in 2000. It is now known as TNI (Tentara Nasional Indonesia).
 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) can be referred as Terms of
Reference (ToR) - http://www.ctf-ri-tl.org/
 UNAMET -United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor was
established by Security Council under resolution 1246 in 11 June 1999 and
ended on 25 October 1999 serving
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