Subject: NGOs urge govts to take CTF report

also Indonesian rights groups urge CTF to publish report

NGOs urge govts to take CTF report

Desy Nurhayati , The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A coalition of civil society groups is pressing the governments of Indonesia and Timor Leste to accept the final report from the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) on human rights violations during the 1999 referendum in East Timor.

The coalition, comprising Imparsial, the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), is also urging the two governments to take legal action against the perpetrators of the rights violations.

"We hope the two governments, especially Indonesia, will not only make the report public, but also take strong legal action to overturn the impunity of the perpetrators, including that of high-ranking military officials," Rafendi Djamin of the HRWG told a press conference here Monday.

The CTF previously announced it would submit its report to the presidents of Indonesia and Timor Leste on May 26, but had to postpone the submission.

The commission said it had finalized the 350-page report, which is written in Indonesian, English and Tetum (the language of Timor Leste), and was waiting for confirmation from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Haris Azhar of Kontras said it was feared irresponsible parties might exploit the delay to change, add or delete parts of the report, such as taking out the name of Gen. Wiranto, who was chief of the Indonesian Military (TNI) at the time.

Wiranto's name was deleted from the dossier submitted by the Attorney General's Office to the ad hoc human rights court for East Timor cases.

Eighteen people were cleared of all charges over the violence, including former militia leader Eurico Gutteres.

"The CTF should also report the results of its work, including its financial report. The temporary joint commission has spent US$4.5 million," Haris said.

Choirul Anam of the HRWG said the Indonesian government had two options for taking legal action: either to reopen the ad hoc court or to work with the global community to process the cases through the international legal system.

"The government must have the courage to take legal action against the perpetrators. It depends on Yudhoyono's political will, whether to maintain their impunity for the sake of political interests, or to enforce justice in the country," he said.

Indonesia and Timor Leste agreed to establish the commission in 2005 to investigate alleged human rights violations involving the TNI before and after the UN-administered referendum in the former Indonesian province in 1999.

TNI-backed militia groups were blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people and the destruction of infrastructure following East Timor's vote for independence.

The coalition members said they had monitored the CTF performance during its term from 2005 to 2007, as well as the public hearing sessions, and found "certain efforts to manipulate" reports of the crimes that occurred during the referendum.

====== I N D O L E F T - News service =========

Indonesian rights groups urge CTF to publish report

Kompas - June 16, 2008

Jakarta -- Human rights organisations the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) have called on the Indonesia-East Timor Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) to immediately hand over the results of its work and those that the institution found liable for prosecution to the presidents of Indonesia and East Timor.

This was conveyed by Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid and activists from HRWG and Imparsial in a press release issued at the Kontras office on Jl. Borobudur in Central Jakarta on Monday June 16.

According to Hamid, the delays in delivering the report to the presidents of both countries could be used by certain parties in an unjustifiable manner to append to or abridge the report. In addition to this, Hamid is also urging the president to follow up the report by submitting it to the parliaments of both countries and publishing it.

"After which both presidents can immediately take legal action by ordering the Attorney General to forward the findings of humanitarian crimes that took place to the human rights court", said Hamid.

Hamid also said that the CTF had used funds from the two countries amounting to US$4.5 million and must immediately produce an accountable financial report. In East Timor, it is hoped that the CTF report will be able to contribute to the full resolution of gross human rights violations as recommended by the 27 session of the United Nations Commission Against Torture on May 16. (C6-08)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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The INDOLEFT news service is produced by the Institute of Liberation, Media and Social Studies (LPMIS) and the Asia Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN).


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