ETAN on 10th Anniversary of Liquicia massacre
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also Bahasa Indonesia: Timor Timur berhak memperoleh keadilan! Pernyataan dari East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) memperingati Pembantaian Liguica

East Timorese Deserve Justice!

Statement by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) on the Anniversary of the Liquiça Massacre

Contact: John M. Miller +1-917-690-4391

On the tenth anniversary of the massacre at the Catholic Church in Liquiça, ETAN urges the international community to finally respond to the demand for justice of the victims of this and other horrific crimes committed during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor (Timor-Leste).

Those responsible for the many crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide committed during Indonesia's illegal occupation of East Timor between 1975 and 1999 must be held accountable.

The victims of the Liquiça massacre and their families should not have to wait another decade for justice. Calls for justice are not calls for revenge. Only through credible trials and respect for the rule of law will victims find closure. Only through real accountability will genuine friendship flourish between peoples of Indonesia and East Timor.
The brutal attack on those seeking refuge in Liquiça churchyard was part of the ongoing campaign to intimidate the East Timorese people into opposing independence and to create the illusion that any violence arose spontaneously among the East Timorese.

At that time, the Liquiça killings were a clear statement that Indonesia's security forces had no intention of allowing an uncoerced vote. However, a month later, the UN, Indonesia and Portugal signed the May 5 agreement, which called for the Indonesian police to provide security for the coming UN-organized vote and for the Indonesian military to be left in place.

The events of 1999 and the preceding years of illegal occupation continue to affect the East Timorese, who continue to suffer from largely unhealed mass trauma. This is one of the underlying causes of the 2006 crisis in Dili. The failure to hold accountable those responsible for organizing and implementing the violence in Liquica and throughout the occupation has created a culture of impunity. Perpetrators believe they will not be held accountable for their crimes and victims often feel that they must take justice into their own hands. These attitudes contributed to the attacks on the President and Prime Minister early last year.

In Indonesia, impunity for past human rights crimes undermines the rule of law and democratic progress. Instead of facing trial, key figures in East Timor's oppression are running for prominent political offices.


On April 6, 1999, hundreds of East Timorese and Indonesian militia, soldiers and police attacked several thousand internally displaced refugees taking shelter in the Catholic church in Liquica after slaughtering several civilians nearby the day before. According to a report commissioned by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the attack left up to 60 people dead, although the precise death toll is still unknown. The refugees had sought shelter in the churchyard after fleeing earlier militia attacks.


Eyewitness accounts and subsequent investigations showed that members of the notorious police unit BRIMOB played an active role in the attack as did the Besi Merah Putih militia (BMP, Iron Rod for the Red-and-White). Military units, including members of its special forces, Kopassus, were also involved. According to the OHCHR report, "Although the attack was carried out mainly by BMP militiamen, eyewitnesses have testified that TNI (including Kopassus) and Brimob troops backed up the miltias and fired their weapons during the attack."

The systematic disposal of corpses... [t]ogether with the substantial evidence of TNI [Indonesian military] and Police involvement in the massacre itself, the presence of key officials at the scene of the crime, and the responsibility of those officials for creating and coordinating the BMP... makes it a virtual certainty that the Liquiça church massacre was planned by high-ranking TNI and civilian authorities," the report added.

The assault on the refugees did not end on April 6. Less than two weeks later, more than a dozen survivors and others were murdered on April 17 at the house of Mario Carrascalao in Dili, East Timor's capital. These murders followed an officially-sponsored rally by militia. Those seeking to provide aid and comfort to survivors in Liquiça had their convoys attacked in subsequent months.

All of the security officials tried in Indonesia's Ad Hoc Human Rights Court for their involvement in the massacre and other crimes were acquitted either at trial or on appeal, including police chief Timbul Silaen, regional military commander General Adam Damiri and East Timor military commander Tono Suratman.

In November 2001, the UN-funded Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) indicted nine Indonesian officers and 12 local militia for the massacre. The massacre was also cited in a wide-ranging indictment issued in 2003 by the UN-backed Serious Crimes process. It accused senior officials, including General Wiranto, former Indonesian defense minister, who is now a candidate for Indonesian president, of responsibility for crimes against humanity in East Timor in 1999. All are currently residing in Indonesia. The Serious Crimes process in Dili convicted and jailed one militia member, who had been indicted separately of three murders, including one during the massacre.

Victims gathered on the anniversary of the Liquica Church Massacre. Commemoration services and a seminar on justice were held for the tenth anniversary of the massacre. Photo by Antoninho Bernardino/UNMIT  

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and brutally occupied the territory until October 1999, with backing from the United States and other powers. The United Nations never formally recognized Indonesia's claim, and as many as 200,000 East Timorese were killed as a result of the Indonesian occupation.

In 1999, Indonesia agreed to a UN-organized referendum on East Timor's political status. After the referendum, in which East Timorese people voted overwhelmingly for independence, Indonesian security forces and the militia they controlled laid waste to the territory, displacing three-quarters of the population, murdering more than 1400 civilians, and destroying more than 75% of the buildings and infrastructure.
Recently, the Timor-Leste NGO Forum urged the international community to "now implement the UN's repeated promises by allocating the necessary political, financial and legal resources to end impunity for these crimes against humanity."
In February, representatives of 60 organizations signed a letter to the UN Security Council urging concrete action to ensure justice and accountability for crimes committed during the Indonesian occupation. They decried "a double standard of justice, undermining the rule of law and respect for human rights in Timor-Leste, Indonesia and internationally." They wrote "A decade has passed since Indonesia's violent exit from Timor-Leste, and Indonesia has repeatedly demonstrated that it cannot or will not credibly try or extradite perpetrators of crimes connected with Indonesia's occupation of Timor-Leste."

ETAN was formed in 1991. The U.S.-based organization advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia. ETAN opposed the nomination of Adm. (ret.) Dennis Blair, who as Pacific commander, delivered a message of 'business-as-usual' to General Wiranto in the immediate aftermath of the Liquiça massacre.

For additional background on the Liquiça massacre see ETAN's web site:



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Timor Timur berhak memperoleh keadilan!

Pernyataan dari East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) memperingati Pembantaian Liguica

Kontak: John M. Miller +1-718-596-7668; +1-917-690-4391

Pada peringatan sepuluh tahun pembantaian di Gereja Katolik Liguica, ETAN mendesak masayarakat internasional untuk menjawab tuntutan keadilan atas para korban dari kejahatan ini dan kejahatan mengerikan lainnya yang dilakukan selama pendudukan Indonesia di Timor Timur (Timor-Leste).

Mereka yang bertanggung jawab atas banyak kejahatan atas kemanusiaan, kejahatan perang dan genosida yang dilakukan selama pendudukan ilegal Indonesia atas Timor Timur antara tahun 1975 hingga 1999 harus dimintai pertanggungjawaban.
Korban pembantaian Liquica dan keluarganya tidak semestinya harus menunggu satu dekade lagi untuk memperoleh keadilan. Tuntutan keadilan bukanlah tuntutan balas dendam. Hanya melalui pengadilan yang layak dipercaya dan menghargai hukumlah para korban akan memperoleh keadilan. Hanya melalui pertanggungjawaban nyata persahabatan hakiki antara rakyat Indonesia dan Timor Timur akan bertumbuh.
Serangan brutal terhadap mereka yang mencari perlindungan di halaman gereja Liguica adalah bagian usaha intimidasi terhadap rakyat Timor Timur agar menolak kemerdekaan dan menciptakan ilusi bahwa kekerasan bisa timbul begitu saja di kalangan rakyat Timor Timur.

Pada saat itu, pembunuhan Liguica adalah pernyataan jelas-jelas bahwa pihak keamanan Indonesia tidak berniat membolehkan pemungutan suara berjalan mulus. Namun, sebulan setelahnya, PBB, Indonesia dan Portugal menandatangani perjanjian 5 Mei, yang menyerukan polisi Indonesia untuk menjamin keamanan pemungutan suara yang dilakukan oleh PBB dan militer Indonesia tetap di tempat.

Kejadian-kejadian di tahun 1999 dan tahun-tahun sebelumnya selama pendudukan ilegal itu masih terus berdampak bagi rakyat Timor Timur, yang terus menderita akibat trauma massal yang tak diobati. Ini adalah salah penyebab krisis 2006 di Dili. Kegagalan meminta pertanggungjawaban atas mereka yang memerintahkan dan melaksanakan kekerasan di Liguica dan sepanjang pendudukan telah menciptakan budaya kebal hukum. Para pelaku yakin mereka tak akan dimintai pertanggungjawaban atas kejahatan mereka dan korban sering merasa bahwa mereka harus menegakkan keadilan dengan cara mereka sendiri. Sikap-sikap ini memiliki sumbangsih terhadap penyerangan kepada Presiden dan Perdana Menteri awal tahun lalu.

Di Indonesia, impunitas terhadap kejahatan hak asasi manusia di masa lalu telah melemahkan hukum dan pertumbuhan demokrasi. Alih-alih diseret ke pengadilan, pelaku-pelaku utama penindasan di Timor Timur malah melaju memperebutkan jabatan politik tertinggi.

Latar belakang

Pada tanggal 6 April 1999, ratusan milisi Timor Timur, tentara dan polisi Indonesia menyerang ribuan pengungsi yang berlindung di halaman gereja Katolik di Liquica setelah pembunuhan sejumlah penduduk di wilayah sehari sebelumnya. Manurut laporan yang dikeluarkan oleh United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [ ], serangan itu menyebabkan hingga 60 orang meninggal, meski jumlah korban sebenarnya belum diketahui. Para pengungsi berlindung di tempat itu setelah sebelumnya mendapat serangan dari milisi.

Laporan saksi mata dan investigasi selanjutnya menunjukkan bahwa anggota Brimob yang terkenal brutal memainkan peran aktif dalam serangan itu, begitu pula milisi Besi Merah Putih (BMP). Unit militer, termasuk anggota dari pasukan khusus, Kopassus, juga terlibat. Menurut laporan OHCHR itu, "Meski serangan itu utamanya dilakukan oleh milisi BMP, saksi mata menyatakan bahwa pasukan TNI (termasuk Kopassus) dan Brimob mendukung milisia dan menembakkan senjatanya selama penyerangan itu."

"Penghilangan mayat secara sistematis... [b]ersama dengan bukti penting keterlibatan TNI dan Polisi dalam pembantaian itu, kehadiran pejabat tinggi di lokasi kejadian, dan tanggung jawab pejabat tersebut dalam membentuk dan mengkoordinir... memperjelas kepastian bahwa pembantaian gereja Liguica direncanakan oleh pejabat tinggi TNI dan sipil," laporan itu menambahkan.

Penyerangan terhadap pengungsi tidak berhenti pada 6 April. Kurang dari dua munggu setelahnya, lebih dari dua belas pengungsi yang selamat dan lain-lainnya dibunuh pada 17 April di rumah Mario Carrascalão di Dili, ibu kota Timor Timur. Pembunuhan ini merupakan kelanjutan dari serangan yang secara resmi dilakukan milisi. Mereka yang berusaha memberikan bantuan dan perlindungan pada pengungsi yang selamat dari serangan Liguica rombongannya diserang pada bulan berikutnya.

Semua pejabat keamanan yang diadili oleh Pengadilan HAM Ad Hoc atas keterlibatan mereka dalam pembantaian itu dan kejahatan lainnya kasusnya akhirnya dihentikan baik oleh pengadilan maupun on appeal, termasuk kepala polisi, Timbul Silaen, komandan Korem Jenderal Adam Damiri dan Komandan Kodam Timor Timur Tono Suratman.

Pada November 2001, Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) yang didanai PBB memvonis sembilan pejabat Indonesia dan 12 milisi lokal atas pembunuhan itu. Pembunuhan itu juga disebut-sebut dalam
putusan berskala luas yang dikeluarkan pada 2003 oleh SCU. Laporan itu menuduh pejabat senior, termasuk Jenderal Wiranto, mantan Menteri Pertahanan, yang sekarang menjadi calon presiden, bertanggung jawab atas kejahatan kemanusiaan di Timor Timur pada tahun 1999. Semuanya kini tinggal di Indonesia. Proses SCU di Dili mengadili dan memenjarakan satu orang anggota milisi, yang telah didakwa dalam tiga kasus pembunuhan secara terpisah, termasuk salah satunya dalam pembantaian itu.

Indonesia menginvasi Timor Timur pada 1975 dan secara brutal menduduki wilayah ini hingga Oktober 1999, dengan dukungan dari Amerika Serikat dan negara-negara kuat lainnya. PBB tidak pernah mengakui secara formal klaim Indonesia, dan sebanyak 200.000 penduduk Timor Timur terbunuh akibat pendudukan tersebut.

Pada 1999, Indonesia menyetujui referendum yang diorganisir oleh PBB terhadap status politik Timor Timur. Setelah referendum itu, di mana penduduk Timor Timur sebagian besar memilih merdeka, pihak keamanan Indonesia dan milisi yang mereka kendalikan menghancurkan wilyah ini, membuat sepertiga penduduknya menjadi pengungsi, membunuh lebih dari 1400 rakyat sipil, dan merusak lebih dari 75% gedung dan infrastruktur.
Baru-baru ini, Forum LSM Timor-Leste mendorong masyarakat Internasional untuk "sekarang melaksanankan janji-janji PBB dengan mengalokasikan sumber daya politik, financial dan hukum untuk mengakhiri impunitas atas kejahatan kemanusiaan."
Pada bulan Februari, perwakilan dari 60 organisasi menandatangani surat kepada Dewan Keamanan PBB  yang menuntut tindakan konkret untuk memastikan keadilan dan pertanggungjawaban atas kejahatan yang dilakukan selama pendudukan Indonesia. Mereka mengecam "standar ganda atas keadilan, melecehkan hukum dan penegakan hak asasi di Timor-Leste, Indonesia dan dunia internasional." Mereka menulis "Satu dekade telah berlalu sejak keluanya Indonesia dengan bersimbah darah dari Timor-Leste, dan Indonesia terus menunjukkan bahwa mereka tidak akan mengadili atau mengektradisi secara adil pelaku kejahatan yang berhubungan pendudukan Indonesia di Timor-Leste."
ETAN dibentuk pada tahun 1991. Organisasi berbasis di AS yang memperjuangkan demokrasi, keadilan dan hak asasi untuk Timor-Leste dan Indonesia. ETAN menolak pencalonan Adm. (pensiunan.) Dennis Blair, yang sebagai komando Pacific, menyampaikan pesan 'bisnis-seperti-biasa’ kepada Jenderal Wiranto tepat setelah pembantaian Liquiça.

Untuk latar belakang tambahan tentang Liquiça



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