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The UN Right Not to Cooperate with Joint Indonesia-Timor "Truth" Commission Farce

Contact: John M. Miller, +1/718-596-7668, 917-690-4391;

July 27, 2007 - The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) today praised the UN for publicly announcing its refusal to cooperate with the joint Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF).

"The UN is right not to cooperate with the CTF," said John M. Miller, National Coordinator of ETAN. "The CTF not only violates international human rights standards, we believe it can only offer a watered-down 'truth' about the horrific actions of the Indonesian military."

“We urge the governments of Indonesia and Timor-Leste to end this farce and to work for genuine justice and accountability for crimes committed in Timor during the Indonesian invasion and occupation,” Miller added. “Now that the UN has once again reiterated the serious nature of crimes committed in Timor-Leste, the Secretary-General should actively work with member states to establish an international tribunal."

In a statement yesterday, the UN said it "cannot endorse or condone amnesties for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or gross violations of human rights, nor should it do anything that might foster them." The UN has refused to allow former officials to testify before the commission for some time.

In May, a global coalition of three dozen human rights organizations led by groups from Indonesia and Timor-Leste sent an open letter to the presidents of Indonesia and Timor-Leste urging them to close the CTF. The groups wrote "It is obvious from its mandate and its performance that the CTF is not a credible mechanism to seek justice or even truth regarding events in Timor-Leste in 1999, let alone from 1975 to 1999."

The CTF began in 2005 as an effort to deflect a UN commission report that called for Indonesia to be given six months to prosecute those within its jurisdiction accused of serious human rights crimes during the UN-organized 1999 independence referendum in Timor-Leste.


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