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Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal
Secretariat: Fongtil, Caicoli, Dili, Timor-Leste

2 February 2010

Excellencies, Members of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations, New York, New York, 10017 USA

Hon. Ameerah Haq
Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Dear Members of the United Nations Security Council,


After 10 years in a climate of independence, we Timorese people continue to endure long suffering related to the cases of serious crimes that were committed during the Indonesian military occupation of our country. This suffering will not end until there is an effective judicial process to try the perpetrators of human rights violations that resulted in the deaths of 100,000 – 180,000 Timorese during the Indonesian occupation from 7 December 1975 until October 1999.  

As citizens of a new country, we remain deeply hopeful that the United Nations Security Council will maintain the principle of rejecting  impunity for all serious crimes and crimes against humanity. Therefore, we believe that the members of the United Nations Security Council will take concrete action to address the cases of serious crimes that happened in our country during the Indonesian military occupation.

As citizens of a new country, we remain deeply hopeful that the United Nations Security Council will maintain the principle of rejecting  impunity for all serious crimes and crimes against humanity. Therefore, we believe that the members of the United Nations Security Council will take concrete action to address the cases of serious crimes that happened in our country during the Indonesian military occupation. Also, we had great expectations when the United Nations, by means of the mandate of UNTAET, established the Special Panels on Serious Crimes to achieve accountability by prosecuting the perpetrators of many serious crimes.

However, the current UNMIT mandate only includes investigation processes but not prosecutions, and only covers serious crimes committed in 1999. We are worried that this limited mandate will not end the cycle of impunity in Timor-Leste. We are very concerned that if impunity prevails in Timor-Leste it will nourish impunity in other countries, and all of us who struggle for human rights will not succeed. Therefore, if the United Nations fails to end impunity for past crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste, there can be no accountability for ongoing crimes, such as those committed during the 2006 crisis in our country.

We, citizens belonging to civil society organizations, individuals and victims, still wait for sufficient and adequate action from Your Excellencies. We need your good will to explore new possibilities for prosecutions of unresolved serious crimes cases when you revise and extend the UNMIT mandate.  

We strongly believe in democracy and rule of law that the UN and its members have robustly supported, and fear its demise if the phenomenon of impunity continues to prevail in Timor-Leste. We are very conscious that our state is still fragile. Timor-Leste alone is not strong enough to prosecute the perpetrators of crimes against humanity and serious crimes, because most of them are protected by Indonesia. Likewise, the courts in Indonesia do not have the political will to bring the suspects involved in crimes in Timor-Leste during the occupation to trial. Additionally, the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia currently do not prioritize human rights, but give preference to friendly bilateral intergovernmental relations.  

The lack of attention to human rights violations undermines the democratization process in Indonesia and respect for law in Timor-Leste. It certainly has and continues to impede the considerable efforts of the United Nations to end the cycle of impunity. Thus there must be accountability for human rights violations.  

Given this situation, we think it is best that the Security Council discuss the recommendations of the Commission of Experts that visited Timor-Leste and Indonesia in April and May 2005 to evaluate the justice processes. There is no need for United Nations to waste more energy and time waiting for insincere Indonesian trials that fail to effectively prosecute perpetrators of these crimes, eventually freeing them all. The United Nations has a responsibility to secure justice for crimes against humanity and serious crimes committed in Timor-Leste that must be addressed now.  

Specific recommendations to be included in the new mandate of UNMIT:

  1. Establish a mechanism during the UNMIT mission which will create an International Tribunal.
  2. Expand the mandate of the Serious Crimes Investigation Team (SCIT) to include some of the most grievous crimes committed prior to 1999, such as the 1975 invasion, 1983 Kraras Massacre, 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre, and others.
  3. Give SCIT the authority and sufficient resources to prepare and publish formal indictments for cases they have investigated.


Timor-Leste organizations

Community Development Interest (CDI)


Forum Tau Matan (FTM)

Front Mahasiswa Timor-Leste (FMTL)

HAK Association

Institute Edukasaun Popular (IEP)

Ita Ba Paz

Judicial Monitoring Program (JSMP)

Kdalak Solimutu Institute (KSI)

Klibur Solidaridade

Knua Buka Hatene (KBH)

Luta Hamutuk

Mata Dalan Institute (MDI)

National Program Associate – ICTJ – Timor-Leste

Organizasaun Popular Vitima da Guerra (OPVG)

Sekretariado Timor-Leste NGO Forum (Fongtil)

Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)

International groups who endorse this letter

Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)

International Federation for East Timor (IFET)

Pedro Pinto Leite, IPJET-International Platform of Jurists for East Timor (IPJET)

Shulamith Koenig, People's Movement for Human Rights Learning (PDHRE)


Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL, Promoting Human Rights, Peace and Democracy in Indonesia (UK)

Cristina Cruz, CIDAC (Portugal)

Gabriel Jonsson, Chairman, Swedish East Timor Committee

Koen J. de Jager, Foundation Pro Papua (The Netherlands)

Tibor van Staveren, Progressio (UK)

Watch Indonesia! - Working Group for Democracy, Human Rights and Environmental Protection in Indonesia and East Timor, Berlin (Germany)

Free East Timor Foundation (VOT) (The Netherlands)

Stg. TLS (The Netherlands)


United States

Brian Keane, Director, Land is Life

Chuck Warpehoski, Co-Director, Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Concerned Citizens for Peace, Honeoye, NY

David Hartsough, Director, PEACEWORKERS, San Francisco, CA

Diana Bohn,  Co-Coordinator,  Nicaragua Center for Community Action

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)

Greg Stanton, President, Genocide Watch

Health Alliance International,  Seattle

Jesse Lokahi Heiwa, Asia Pacific Action

Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund

Michael Beer, Director, Nonviolence International

Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, Portland, OR

Rev. John Chamberlin, National Coordinator, East Timor Religious Outreach

Rosemarie Pace, Director, Pax Christi Metro New York

Sharon Silber and Eileen Weiss, Co-directors, Jews Against Genocide

United for Justice with Peace

Vivek Ananthan, Volunteers for Intl Solidarity and  Center for Creative Activities

William H. Slavick, coordinator, Pax Christi Maine


April Ingham, Executive Director, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership

Jess Agustin,  Development and Peace


Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) (Philippines)

Japan East Timor Coalition

Freddy Gamage,  Friends of the Third World (FTW) (Sri Lanka)

Sr. Monica Nakamura ACI,  The Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Japan)



Bonar Tigor Naipospos, Solidarity Without Borders (Solidamor), Jakarta, Indonesia

Gustaf Dupe, Chairman, Association of Prison Ministries
Chairman, Law Enforcement Watch
Secretary General, Jakarta Christian Communication Forum
Head, International Relationships, Institute of Struggle for the Rehabilitation of the Political Victims of the New Order Regime (LPR KROB)

KontraS (Komisi Untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan/  Commission for the "Disappeared" and Victims of Violence)

Winston Rondo, Director,  CIS TIMOR Association Volunteers



Adam Breasley, Graduate Human Rights Student from Australian Catholic University

Australia-East Timor Association (AETA)

Dr Clinton Fernandes, Australian Coalition for Transitional Justice in East Timor

Jefferson Lee (Special Project Officer ) – Australia-East Timor Association (NSW)

Justice for Palestine Matters, Sydney

Rob Wesley-Smith, convenor, Australia for a Free East Timor (AFFET), Darwin

Rosemary McKay, Chair, Australia East Timor Friendship Association SA Inc

Zelda Grimshaw,  RMIT University


New Zealand

Maire Leadbeater, Spokesperson, Indonesia Human Rights Committee


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