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Open Letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
The United Nations
1 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017-3515

December 13, 2007

Mr. Secretary-General,

We are a coalition of more than 70 human rights organizations from 14 countries around the world, concerned about justice for the people of Timor-Leste.

On this, your first visit as Secretary-General to Timor-Leste, we remind you that its people suffered countless war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Indonesian invasion and 24-year occupation of their homeland. These crimes occurred in violation of the UN charter, numerous United Nations resolutions and human rights treaties.

We draw your attention to the solemn commitments of the Security Council, expressed in Resolutions 1264 and 1272, and those of your predecessor, His Excellency Kofi Annan, to bring those responsible to justice. In this context, we congratulate you for refusing to legitimize the bilateral Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF) and for reiterating that the UN "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".

It is clear that both Indonesia's Ad Hoc Human Rights Court and the CTF have proven manifestly unsuitable in design and implementation to the task of delivering justice in accordance with international law.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at podium, left) and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão (right) address the media following their meeting at the Prime Minister's office Photo by: UNMIT Photo/Martine Perret


The Serious Crimes process (which only dealt with crimes committed in 1999) was terminated by the Security Council in May 2005 although its work was far from complete. Since then the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) has re-established the Serious Crimes Investigation Team to complete investigations into outstanding cases from 1999. UNMIT's recent "Report on human rights developments in Timor-Leste August 2006 - August 2007," highlighted the role that the report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR) can play within Timor-Leste in both 'unifying' Timorese society and helping to 'foster a democratic culture based on the rule of law'.

We urge you to convene an open debate at the United Nations of the CAVR's recommendations to the international community. Both the CAVR and the UN Commission of Experts recommended the creation of 'an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for Timor-Leste' should Indonesia, under a strict time frame, continue to fail to credibly prosecute senior officials responsible for the devastation in 1999.

This call for substantive justice for past crimes is widely supported within Timor-Leste, especially by the Church and civil society. However, the leaders of Timor-Leste need the support of the United Nations and other key international actors in addressing this, as they cannot be expected to bear such a difficult diplomatic burden on their own.

Accordingly, in anticipation of an ad hoc international criminal tribunal, we urge you to fully reconstitute the Serious Crimes process, providing it with sufficient resources and backing. This should be done in accordance with recommendations 7.1.1 and 7.1.2 of the CAVR Report - namely, the UN itself should provide the resources and judicial expertise, not Timor-Leste's court system. The Serious Crimes process must investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed from 1975 onwards, not just those committed in 1999. Indonesia, which is currently a member of both the Security Council and UN Human Rights Council, must extradite for trial those charged by the Serious Crimes process.

In February 2000, your predecessor called for "justice to prevail over impunity" while standing in a churchyard  in Liquiça, the site of one of the most notorious 1999 massacres. We urge you to do all within your power to ensure this occurs.


John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesian Action Network, USA
UN Representative, International Federation for East Timor (IFET)

Yasinta Lujina, Coordinator
Viriato Seac, Researcher
La'o Hamutuk Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis, Timor-Leste

Mericio Akara, Program Manager
Luta Hamutuk - Timor Leste

Jose Caetano Guterres. Coordinator of Coordinating  Committee
Dr. Phyllis Ferguson
East Timor Reflection Network

Timotio de Deus, Director
Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP)

Antero Benedito
Peace and Community Development Centre

Naldo Rei
Media Advisor and Author of "Resistance:  A Childhood Fighting For East Timor"

Jose Teixeira
Former Minister for Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy, R.D.T.L. Government
Member, Timor-Leste Parliament

Rafendi Djamin, Coordinator
Indonesian Human Rights Working Group

Suraiya IT, Chair
International Forum for Aceh

Ms. Nel Pattinama, supervisor
Maluku Masa Depan Foundation
Moluccan Human Rights Organization
The Netherlands

Paul van Zyl, Executive Vice President
International Center for Transitional Justice

Charles Scheiner
International Secretariat
International Federation for East Timor

Brad Adams, Director for Asia
Human Rights Watch

Anselmo Lee, Executive Director
Tadzrul T. Hamzah, South East Asia Programme Officer
FORUM-ASIA, Thailand

Tupou Vere, Director
Pacific Concerns Resource Centre 

Gus Miclat
Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC), Philippines

Juan Federer, Former Coordinator
East Timor International Support Center

Pedro Pinto Leite, Secretary
International Platform of Jurists for East Timor, The Netherlands

Bobbi Nassar, UN Representative
International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers

Robert B. Fisher, Chairperson
VIVAT International

James Dunn, UNTAET expert on crimes against humanity in East Timor 2001-2002

Dr Clinton Fernandes
Australian Coalition for Transitional Justice in East Timor

Dr Helen M. Hill, Chairperson
Australia-East Timor Association (Victoria)

Brendan Doyle, Treasurer
Jefferson Lee, Projects Officer
Australia East Timor Association (NSW)

Rob Wesley-Smith, Convenor
Australians for a Free East Timor, Darwin

Eko Waluyo
Indonesia Solidarity, Sydney

Miriam Tonkin, Chairperson
Australia East Timor Friendship Association, (SA)

Brian T. Manning
Campaign for an Independent East Timor, Australia

Celine Massa, Campaign Organiser
SEARCH Foundation, Australia

Maire Leadbeater, Spokesperson
Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Auckland

Kevin McBride
National Coordinator
Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand

Geoffrey C. Gunn, Professor of International Relations
Nagasaki University, Japan Former consultant sociologist to UNTAET; former consultant to CAVR on "international actors." 

Kyo Kageura
Japan East Timor Coalition

Carmel Budiardjo, Director
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, UK

Christine Allen, Executive Director
James Whitehead, Director of International Programmes,
Progressio, London, UK

Gabriel Jonsson, Chairman
Swedish East Timor Committee

Dr. Monika Schlicher, Executive Director
Watch Indonesia! Working Group for Democracy, Human Rights
Environmental Protection in Indonesia and East Timor, Berlin, Germany

Bruno Kahn Directeur de recherche
CNRS Paris, France

France-Timor Leste

David Webster, former Coordinator
East Timor Alert Network, Canada

Matt Easton, Director
Human Rights Defenders Program, Human Rights First

Ed McWilliams, retired senior Foreign Service Officer, former Political Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Jakarta
West Papua Advocacy Team

Jim Winkler, General Secretary
General Board of Church and Society. The United Methodist Church, USA

Rev. Dr. Dennis M. Davidson, President
Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship

David Robinson, Executive Director
Pax Christi USA

Rev. James Kofski, Associate
Asia/Pacific and Middle East Issues, Maryknoll Global Concerns, Washington

Eileen Gannon,OP
Dominican Leadership Conference

Marie Lucey OSF, Associate Director
Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Sister Joan Kirby
Temple of Understanding
President, Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN

Judith Mayer, Coordinator
The Borneo Project, USA

Rev. John Chamberlin, National Coordinator
East Timor Religious Outreach

Sharon Silber & Eileen B. Weiss, Co-Founders
Jews Against Genocide

Kirsten Moller, Executive Director
Global Exchange

Elaine Donovan, co-founder
Concerned Citizens for Peace, Hemlock, NY

David Hartsough, Executive Director

Bill Ramsey
Human Rights Action Service, St. Louis

Vivek Ananthan,
Center For Creative Activities, Philadelphia

Dr. Brad Simpson, Assistant Professor of History
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Director, Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project,
National Security Archive

Carol Jahnkow, Executive Director
Peace Resource Center of San Diego

Diana Bohn
Nicaragua Center for Community Action (NICCA), Berkeley, CA

Andy Mager, Staffperson
Syracuse Peace Council

Roland Watson, Founder
Dictator Watch

Alan Muller, Executive Director
Green Delaware

Herbert Rothschild Jr., Coordinator
Peace Action, Greater Houston Chapter

Jeff Ballinger
Press for Change

Sr. Sheila Kinsey, OSF, Leader
Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation Office Wheaton Franciscans

Additional signers

Gustaf Dupe, Chairman
Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (KAP T/N)
Chairman, Association of Prison Ministries, Indonesia Chairman, Law Enforcement Watch (LEW), Jakarta
General Secretary, Jakarta Christian Communication Forum, (FKKJ)

Mountains Community Resource Network
Blue Mountains, Australia

Shulamith Koenig, Founding President
PDHRE, People's Movement for Human Rights Learning; Recipient of the 2003 UN Human Rights Award

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Urge UN Secretary-General to Act for Justice for East Timor

Surat kepada Sekretaris Jenderal Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (PBB) mengenai Keadilan bagi Timor-Leste

Yang Terhormat Ban Ki-Moon
Sekretaris Jenderal Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa
1 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017-3515

Desember 13 2007

Yang Terhormat Bapak Sekretaris Jenderal

Kami adalah koalisi yang terdiri atas lebih dari 70 organisasi hak asasi manusia dari 14 negara yang peduli atas keadilan bagi penduduk Timor-Leste

Dalam kunjungan pertama Anda ke Timor-Leste sebagai Sekretaris Jenderal, kami mengingatkan bahwa penduduk negara ini telah menanggung tak terhitung penderitaan akibat kejahatan perang dan kejahatan melawan kemanusiaan selama invasi dan 24 tahun pendudukan Indonesia. Kejahatan-kejahatan ini merupakan pelanggaran atas Piagam Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa, sejumlah resolusi Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa dan perjanjian-perjanjian internasional mengenai hak asasi manusia.

Kami meminta perhatian Anda terhadap komitmen Dewan Keamanan sebagaimana dinyatakan dalam Resolusi 1264 dan 1272, dan pendahulu Anda, Kofi Annan, untuk menyerahkan mereka yang bertanggungjawab atas kejahatan-kejahatan itu ke hadapan pengadilan. Dalam hal ini, kami memuji keputusan Anda menolak legitimasi Komisi bagi Kebenaran dan Persahabatan (Commission for Truth and Friendship)(CTF) yang bilateral, dan pernyataan ulang Anda bahwa Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa "tidak menyetujui atau merestui amnesti bagi genosid, kejahatan melawan kemanusiaan, kejahatan perang dan kejahatan serius atas hak asasi manusia serta mereka yang mendukungnya.

Jelas bahwa Pengadilan Ad Hoc Hak Asasi Manusia Indonesia dan CTF telah terbukti tidak sesuai dalam rancangan dan implementasinya untuk mewujudkan keadilan sesuai dengan hukum internasional.

Proses Kejahatan Serius (Serious Crimes process)(yang dilakukan hanya atas kejahatan yang dilakukan di tahun 1999) telah dihentikan oleh Dewan Keamanan di bulan Mei 2005 sekalipun tugas mereka jauh dari lengkap. Sejak itu, Misi Terintegrasi Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa di Timor-Leste (United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste, UNMIT) mendirikan Tim Penyidikan Kejahatan Serius (Serious Crimes Investigation Team) untuk melakukan penyidikan atas kasus-kasus mulai dari tahun 1999 yang belum sempat diselidiki. Laporan UNMIT yang terbaru “Laporan Perkembangan Hak Asasi manusia di Timor-Leste Agustus 2006 – Agustus 2007”, menandai peran yang dapat dimainkan oleh Komisi bagi Penerimaan Kebenaran dan Rekonsiliasi (Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation Commission)(CAVR) untuk “menyatukan” masyarakat Timor-Leste dan untuk “mendorong budaya demokratis berdasarkan hukum.”

Kami mendesak Anda untuk mengadakan debat yang terbuka bagi komunitas internasional mengenai rekomendasi CAVR, di Perserikatan Bangsa Bangsa. Baik CAVR maupun Komisi Ahli PBB (UN Commission of Experts) merekomendasikan pembentukan pengadilan pidana internasional ad hoc bagi Timor-Leste apabila Indonesia dalam waktu singkat, masih saja gagal mengadili perwira-perwira senior yang bertanggungjawab atas penghancuran di tahun 1999 dalam suatu proses yang dapat dipercaya.

Desakan bagi keadilan substantif bagi kejahatan di masa lalu ini didukung secara luas di Timor-Leste, terutama oleh pihak Gereja dan masyarakat luas. Para pimpinan Timor-Leste tidak dapat diharapkan untuk menanggung beban diplomatis itu sendirian.

Sejalan dengan itu, sebagai antisipasi atas pengadilan pidana internasional ad hoc, kami mendesak Anda untuk secara penuh membentuk kembali proses Kejahatan Serius (Serious Crime process), untuk menyediakan cukup sumber daya dan dukungan. Hal ini seharusnya dilakukan sesuai dengan rekomendasi 7.1.1 dan 7.1.2 dari Laporan CAVR - yaitu, PBB harus menyediakan sumber daya dan tenaga ahli di bidang peradilan, bukan bergantung pada sistem peradilan Timor-Leste. Proses Kejahatan Serius harus menyidiki kejahatan perang dan kejahatan melawan kemanusiaan yang dilakukan mulai dari tahun 1975, tidak hanya yang dilakukan di tahun 1999. Indonesia, yang saat ini adalah anggota baik dalam Dewan Keamanan dan Dewan Hak Asasi manusia PBB, harus mengekstradisi mereka yang dinyatakan sebagai tersangka oleh proses Kejahatan Serius.

Di bulan Februari 2000, di halaman gereja di Liquica, salah satu lokasi pembantaian 1999, pendahulu Anda mendesak “keadilan mengungguli kekebalan hukum”. Kami mendesak Anda untuk sepenuhnya mewujudkan janji ini semampu Anda.

Hormat kami,

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