|Subject: PBHI Statement
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 08:50:16 -0400
From: "Solidamor" <Solidmor@centrin.net.id>
Regarding the worsening condition in East Timor, and the pressure received by our client, Mr. Xanana Gusmao, the President of CNRT, from Indonesian Government following his statement released on 5th April, 1999, PBHI would like to point out the following matters :
First, PBHI ask for clarification regarding the tendency of "double face politics" shown at the process to find solution for East Timor problems. On one hand, at the International level, Indonesian government has and continuously made negotiation with the Portuguese government, under the supervision of UN, for peaceful solution on East Timor problem. This negotiation process has produced an agreement from Indonesian government to implement a "consultative process" toward East Timor people. This process is to make sure whether East Timor people will accept or reject the proposal of "expanded autonomy" offered by Indonesian Government.
On the other hand, the worsening development on East Timor has made us suspect that ABRI has implemented a "special operation", which has decreased the possibility of creating the stability and peace, which is one of the prerequisite for that "consultative process". Militia groups have been armed by ABRI, or at least let the militia groups possess weapons to perform violence and intimidation, is part of the fact that bring us to that suspicion. The result of that is, in the last several months, violence clashes have emerged in East Timor between both conflicting sides and number of lives have loss from both sides, but most of the victims are innocent civilian.
Second, the statement of our client, Mr. Xanana Gusmao should be related to this context. On 5th April, Mr. Xanana Gusmao had encouraged people on his side to defend themselves from the assault that threatening their lives. Therefore, that statement should be understood as a reaction toward the war climate which has existed in East Timor, starting from the armament of the pro-integration militia groups by ABRI. Regarding the act of self defense, it should be remembered that The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights principally stressed out that in order to prevent person from self defending rebelliously toward intimidation, then their rights should be defended by Law.
Third, PBHI believes that peaceful solution toward East Timor problem should be saved, and it means that any violence should be avoided. Within this context, if Indonesian government could not control and prevent its armed forces from their violence adventure in East Timor, then it is Indonesian government obligation to invite UN peacekeeping forces to reduce the tension in East Timor. Furthermore, in order to make a transparent and impartial report about the situation in East Timor, Indonesian government should open themselves for the possibility of the representative from UN Human Rights Commission to be positioned in East Timor.
Fourth, within the context of saving the efforts of peaceful solution, it is essential for Indonesian government on the decision to put our client, Mr. Xanana Gusmao, in Salemba special prison. To bring Mr. Xanana Gusmao back to Cipinang prison will be a mistake, that can be suspected as a part of violence conspiration in East Timor to prevent from achieving the peaceful solution for East Timor problem.
Jakarta, 14th Aprul 1999, Board of Executive
H E N D A R D I Chairperson