Subject: Free East Timor Japan Coalition letter to UNSG

Below is a letter sent to UNSG and SC member countries at the occasion of Jan 30/31 UNSC meeting on UNTAET and ET from Free East Timor Japan Coalition.

Cheers, Kyo Kageura kyo@nii.ac.jp ---- The Honorable Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General, FAX: +1 (212) 963-2155; +1 (212) 963-7055

Dear Secretary General,

We are writing to urge you to emphasise the issue of justice for East Timor and press for the establishment of an international tribunal to try crimes against humanity committed in East Timor at the upcoming Security Council meeting on January 30-31.

In our last letter to you on October 25, 2001, we called on you to move to establish an international tribunal for East Timor. However, the Security Council has once again failed to take positive action in this matter, preferring to assume that crimes committed in East Timor can be properly handled by Indonesian courts.

Recently, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri signed a decree appointing 18 judges to an ad-hoc human rights court for East Timor which Indonesia claims it will soon establish. In your January 17, 2002 report to the Security Council, you said that you welcomed this as a "promising development," claiming that "the completion of this process is of key importance for the development of strong relations between East Timor and Indonesia."

The Indonesian ad-hoc court, however, has many flaws.

First and foremost, the jurisdiction of the court is severely limited and covers only those violations committed in April and September 1999, in only the three districts of Dili, Liquica and Suai. This falls far short of what should be achieved in the name of justice. The court's mandate is thus from the beginning totally insufficient.

Secondly, the current list of suspects it will try is inadequate, as it does not include such high-ranking officers as (former) General Wiranto and former intelligence chief Major General Zacky Anwar, who are listed in the Indonesian Human Rights Commission's own report on human rights violations committed in East Timor.

Thirdly, the selection process of the judges was not transparent and the judges apparently do not satisfy the necessary requirements for serving on a human rights court. For instance, according to Ori Rahman, the chairman of the Indonesian human rights NGO Kontras (Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence), one of the judges appointed by President Megawati, Rudi M. Rizki, was one of Wiranto's legal advisers.

Given these flaws, Amnesty International's Indonesia researcher concludes that "the emphasis (of the ad-hoc tribunal) is not being placed on delivering justice in accordance with international standards, it's about providing a show." We share the same opinion.

Regarding East Timor Serious Crimes Unit and the Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court, we welcome your emphasis on the need for further assistance. However, we are at the same time disappointed by your positive reference to the "Los Palos case," as in the judgement passed in this case on 11 December 2001, Indonesian Kopassus (special forces) lieutenant Sayful Anwar was not tried, because Indonesia did not reply to UNTAET's extradiction appeal. This also shows that Indonesia is not serious about bringing those responsible to justice, and that, for the East Timorese judicial system to function to achieve due justice, international pressure on Indonesia, not words of encouragement, is necessary.

We therefore call on you to strongly commit yourself to:

(1) the establishment of an international tribunal to properly investigate crimes against humanity committed in East Timor, not only in 1999 but throughout the entire period of the Indonesian occupation, and prosecute those responsible for these atrocities; and

(2) the provision of proper funding and resources for East Timor's judicial system to ensure that low-level militia members within East Timor are brought to justice.

As East Timorese NGOs wrote in a letter to the Japanese government on December 8, 2001, "If there is no justice, there can be no betterment of life." We would like to remind you that the international community, especially powerful nations, owes the East Timorese people a heavy moral debt after repeatedly abandoning them and supporting the Indonesian invasion and illegal occupation of East Timor. It must make every effort to fulfill its responsibility to ensure that justice is served, not only for the future of East Timor but also for the future of the world.

Yours sincerely, Free East Timor! Japan Coalition


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