Indonesia Must Confront Its Past, Accept Responsibility and
Deliver Justice for Timor Atrocities
ETAN Posts Entire Timor Truth Commission Report on Website
Contact: John M. Miller, 718-596-7668; 917-690-4391 (cell)
Karen Orenstein, 202-544-6911
February 16 – In light of Friday’s meeting between the presidents of Timor-Leste
and Indonesia, the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) today
called on Indonesia to fully accept
the findings and enact the recommendations
of Timor-Leste's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (known by
its Portuguese acronym, CAVR). The presidents are expected to discuss the report
and the bilateral Indonesia - Timor-Leste Commission on Truth and Friendship.
“Indonesia bears primary responsibility for the illegal invasion and occupation
of East Timor,” said John M. Miller, National Coordinator of ETAN. “Instead of
seeking to bury the past, Indonesia should ensure that those responsible for
crimes against humanity and other systematic human rights violations in
Timor-Leste are brought to justice. This would send a strong message to a still
recalcitrant military,” he added. “The cycle of impunity in Indonesia cannot end
and democracy fully flourish until there is real justice for Timor-Leste.”
ETAN posted the full CAVR report in English and Bahasa Indonesia on its website today. (See
“President Gusmao asked NGOs to help make the CAVR report widely available once
he had delivered it to the UN and certain governments, which has happened,” said
Miller, who met with Gusmao in January. “The report contains information that
needs to be widely known. Indonesia, the United States, the UN and others must
act on its recommendations.”
|Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono (R) greets his East Timor counterpart Xanana Gusmao at
a meeting in Tampak Siring palace on the resort island of Bali February
17, 2006. REUTERS/Presidential Secretary-Dudi Anung.
The CAVR report states that a new relationship between Timor-Leste and Indonesia
requires “the principles of acknowledging the truth of the past, accountability
for violence, and a spirit of generosity in assisting those who have been harmed
by that violence.”
report calls on Indonesia to provide “full documentation of military
operations resulting in human rights violations of civilians”; revise its
official account so as to “give the Indonesian people an accurate and
comprehensive account of the period 1974 to 1999”; and cooperate “fully with any
future international or East Timorese initiatives established to address justice
for violations of human rights committed in Timor-Leste between 1974 and 1999.”
The report also recommends that the Indonesian government, as well as Indonesian
businesses which profited from the occupation, contribute to a reparations trust
The CAVR report is the product of three years of intensive research by hundreds
of East Timorese and international experts and is based on information from more
than 8000 witnesses and victims. The report found that at least 102,800 people
died from 1975 to 1999 as a result of Indonesia's invasion and occupation.
The report is critical of the Commission on Truth and Friendship.
“Under its current mandate the Truth and Friendship
Commission (TFC), established over public opposition, does not meet
international human rights standards,” said Miller. “It cannot refer anyone for
prosecution for serious crimes but can propose amnesties. The international
community, including the U.S. government, must not use the TFC to dodge
responsibility for accountability,” he added. The two presidents plan to discuss
the TFC during their meeting.
The CAVR report covers the period from 1974 to 1999 and urges increased
attention to crimes committed before 1999, including the 99% of the total
murders committed under the Suharto dictatorship, which received strong backing
from foreign governments. UN-sponsored justice processes have so far limited
their work to 1999.
ETAN advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for East Timor and
Indonesia. ETAN calls for an international tribunal to prosecute crimes against
humanity committed in East Timor from 1975 to 1999 and for restrictions on U.S.
military assistance to Indonesia until there is genuine reform of its security
forces. For more information, go to www.etan.org.
news and other reports on Truth Commission report and reaction
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