Religious Leaders Call Indonesian Court on East Timor 'Not Acceptable'
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News Reports on Statement from U.S. Religious Leaders and Organizations:
An International Tribunal Must Be Established for East Timor 

East Timor: American religious leaders call for international war crimes court

Washington, May 28 (Lusa) - Representatives of over 90 American religious groups have called to the United States government to back the creation of an international court to try the perpetrators of violence in East Timor.

The declaration, whose signatories are primarily Christian leaders, but who also represent the Muslim and Jewish faiths, has been issued in response to last week`s acquittal by a Jakarta court of Brig. Gen. Tono Suramatan on 1999 war crimes charges in Timor.

The Indonesian ad-hoc court for Timor is a "sham" says the document, calling to the US to actively work with its UN Security Council partners to approve a resolution creating an international court for Timor.

"World powers must look at Timor's suffering again".

The American religious leaders also say that "the universality of human rights is at stake".

"The Indonesian military committed endless atrocities in Timor, including torture, rape, forced sterilization and murder", says the declaration, adding that "justice cannot be denied in these horrendous crimes without there being repercussions".

"Timor`s peace and the primacy of Indonesian law have already been seriously compromised", say the religious leaders.

One of the signatories, Rev. John Chamberlin, said the multi- faith document was an example of "faith in action", adding that in Timor's case "the crimes are so well documented and the suffering so grand that it would be a thoughtless act to not take a position".

JP/CJB -Lusa-

Page 1 - May 29, 2003 Timor Post (Bahasa Indonesian)
Timor Post

The New York Times

May 29, 2003, Thursday, Late Edition - Final

World Briefing Asia: East  Timor: Call For U.N. Tribunal

  More than 90 American religious leaders and organizations have issued a
statement urging creation of an international tribunal under United Nations
auspices to try Indonesian military and police officials accused of human rights
violations in East Timor. Indonesia has set up its own human rights court, but
the religious leaders called that court, which so far has acquitted 12 of 17
defendants, a "sham." East Timor won its independence from Indonesia in 1999
after 24 years that included periods of ethnic and religious violence and rights
abuses.  - Laurie Goodstein (NYT)

ETAN: People of Faith Call for International Tribunal for East Timor, Regardless of Indonesian Court Verdicts  

A Statement from U.S. Religious Leaders and Organizations: An International Tribunal Must Be Established for East Timor 

see also ETAN's Religious pages

see also ETAN's Justice and Human Rights pages


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