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A Statement from Women's Studies Scholars, Women Leaders and Feminist Organizations

"An International Tribunal is the most pressing demand in the interests of justice. Of all the victims of Indonesian military violence the greatest suffering was borne by women, who up to this time, have not met with the justice they hoped for." from a statement by the East Timorese Women's Network, June 2001

We join with our East Timorese sisters in calling for an international tribunal for East Timor.

We urge the United Nations Security Council to establish an international tribunal for East Timor without delay. The East Timorese people have waited far too long for the architects and perpetrators of the atrocities committed against them to be brought to justice. Over two years have passed since the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry on East Timor called for an international human rights tribunal. During that time, it has become clear that only an international tribunal can hold accountable the high-ranking Indonesian military, police and government officials most responsible for crimes against humanity committed in East Timor.

When Indonesia illegally invaded and occupied East Timor in 1975, it began a genocidal campaign that lasted nearly a quarter-century. During the first five years of the occupation, some 200,000 people - one-third of the pre-invasion population - were killed. The occupation specifically targeted women in several ways, including the following:

  • Rape and "forced marriage" to military personnel were used to terrorize and control East Timorese women, to punish pro-independence families, and to reward Indonesian soldiers. A study of gender violence in 1999 by the Communication Forum for East Timorese Women (FOKUPERS) found many acts of rape were "planned, organized, and sustained - militia and soldiers conniving together to abduct women and share them like chattel; or, in some cases, forcibly taking women across the border into [Indonesian] West Timor where the women were raped daily and made to perform household chores." Tragically, the women among the estimated 80,000 East Timorese still in Indonesian refugee camps remain vulnerable to sexual assault by militia and military members.
  • East Timorese women were forcibly sterilized by the Indonesian military under the guise of "family planning". It is estimated that tens of thousands of women were injected with contraceptives without their consent - sometimes even without their knowledge - and never with adequate follow-up care.
  • An unknown number of East Timorese children were kidnapped and raised in Indonesia as Indonesian citizens, a practice that continues today. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has confirmed 240 cases of East Timorese children being taken from their parents by militia in Indonesian refugee camps since 1999; according to the UN, as many as 2,000 children may be held captive currently.

In the face of such suffering, it is truly reprehensible that the world community has knowingly placed its faith in an unacceptable alternative to an international tribunal - the Indonesian ad hoc Human Rights Court for East Timor. Due to its many flaws, the Indonesian court will not adequately address cases of gender violence and the systematic targeting of women and children, among other serious crimes.

International justice was significantly advanced last year by the decision of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to classify rape as a crime against humanity. But the world community cannot stop there. Atrocities committed against the people of East Timor deserve no less attention than those committed against peoples of other nations. An international tribunal for East Timor, with a mandate covering the entire Indonesian occupation, must be established now to redress the most heinous crimes committed against the women and men of East Timor. Otherwise, international justice will appear weak and conditional, rule of law will be undermined, and the people of the world's newest nation will have good reason to lose faith in the world community.

see also Media Release on statement

see also Women and East Timor

see also Human Rights and Justice 

Signatures as of May 12, 2002 
Organizations and institutions listed are for identification purposes only.

Abigail Abrash 
Executive Committee, Indonesia Human Rights Network 
and Board of Directors, Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy 
Keene, NH

Lynn Anthony 
Charlottesville, VA

Sima Aprahamian, Ph.D.
Research Associate and Lecturer, Simone de Beauvoir Institute 
Concordia University 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin 
Madison, WI

Parvin Basiri 
Board member, Association of Iranian Women-USA 
Alexandria, VA

Rosalyn Baxandall Professor, American Studies 
SUNY Old Westbury 
New York, NY

Oona Channa Besman 
Academic counselor, 
Ohio State University 
Columbus, OH

Regina Birchem 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Irwin, PA

Steve Grubman Black, Ph.D.
Professor of Women's Studies 
University of Rhode Island 
Kingston, RI 

Robin Bled 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Portland, OR

Ellie Bluestein 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Fresno, CA

Liz Blum 
Norwich, VT

Michele Bohana 
Director, Institute for Asian Democracy 
Washington, DC

Mary Bolton 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Portland, OR

Diane E. Boyd 
English Department 
University of Alabama 
Tuscaloosa, AL

Johanna Brenner 
Chair, Women's Studies 
Department Portland State University 
Portland, OR

Christina Brinkley, Ph.D. 
W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research 
Harvard University 
Cambridge, MA

Susan Brownmiller 
Author, Against our Will: Women and Rape in Our Time
New York, NY

Leslie Cagan 
Chair, Interim Board of Directors of the Pacifica Foundation 
New York, NY

Elizabeth Cannon, PhD 
Acting Chair, Women's Studies Program UW-Oshkosh
Oskhosh, WI

Bettina Canon 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Cenacle Sisters of North America 
Chicago, IL 

Reverend John Chamberlin
National Coordinator, East Timor Religious Outreach 
Petaluma, CA

Sina Choi
New York, NY

Martie Clemons 
Cardiff, CA

Nancy Cohen, Ph.D. 
Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Women UCLA
Los Angeles, CA

Kathleen Conlon 
Philadelphia, PA

Hellen Cooke 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Frankston, Victoria, Australia

Lori A. Creed 
Indiana University 
Bloomington, IN

Agnes B. Curry, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor, Philosophy 
St. Joseph College West 
Hartford, CT 

Jennifer L. Cushman
Bloomington, IN

Behjat Dehghan 
President, Association of Iranian Women-USA 
Alexandria, VA

Diane Docis 
Coordinator, Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program 
University of Toledo 
Toledo, OH

Regina Domingues 
Coordinator, Ibase/ East Timor 
Project Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas 
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Tahnya Donaghy, PhD 
University of South Australia 
Adelaide, Australia

Barbara Drageaux 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Karen Dugger 
Director, National Center for Curriculum Transformation and Professor, Women's Studies Towson University Towson, MD

Léonie Ebert 
Graham F. Smith Peace Trust 
Adelaide, Australia

Cynthia Enlo
Women's Studies Department Clark University, Worcester, MA

Eve Ensler 
Playwright, activist and author, The Vagina Monologues 
New York, NY

Abigail Erikson 
Amnesty International 
Women's Human Rights Program 
Denver, CO

Diane Farsetta
"Her Turn" Women's News Collective 
WORT 89.9 FM 
Madison, WI

Mahin Filabi 
Board member, Association of Iranian Women-USA 
Alexandria, VA

Jill C. Fink 
Director, Women in Learning and Leadership 
The College of New Jersey
Ewing, NJ

Elizabeth Flanagan, M.S.
Department of Psychology 
Auburn University 
Auburn, AL

Jahnnie Freebaum 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Portland, OR

Mindy Fried, Ph.D. 
Women's Studies Department 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Cambridge, MA

Gloria Gay, MSW, LSW
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Heather Gill 
Women in Black 
Canberra, Australia

Linda Gordon 
Professor of History 
New York University 
New York, NY

Anna Gramberg, PhD 
Chair, Foreign Languages Department 
Auburn University
Auburn, MA

Joan Grant-Cummings
Coordinator, Coalition for Community Participation in Governance 
Kingston, Jamaica

Janet Gray 
Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies Program 
The College of New Jersey 
Ewing, NJ

Rhonda Hammer, PhD 
UCLA Center for the Study of Women 
Los Angeles, CA

Elfriede Harth 
CFFC, European Representative
Versailles, France 

Susan Heald, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Women's Studies 
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Canada

Erin Herberg 
Assistant Professor
Department of Composition and Rhetoric 
Rowan University 
Glassboro, NJ

Mia Herndon 
Outreach Coordinator, Third Wave Foundation 
New York, NY

Homeyra Hesami 
Board member, Association of Iranian Women-USA
Alexandria, VA

Jane Hirschmann 
Director, National Center for Overcoming Overeating 
New York, NY

Pat Hollingsworth 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Janet Hunt 
Adjunct Professor Deakin 
University Melbourne, Australia

Rosalie Huzzard 
President, UK Section
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
London, England

Prue Hyman 
Women's Studies, Victoria 
University of Wellington 
Wellington, New Zealand

Mary Jenkins 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 

Ana Cecilia Jimen ez 
Costa Rica Commission for Human Rights (CODEHU) 
Costa Rica

Janet Kalven Grail 
Women Task Force 
Loveland, OH

Sarah Kelser Women's and Gender Studies Program, American University 
Washington, DC

Helen Klebesadel 
Women's Studies Consortium 
University of Wisconsin system 
Madison, WI

Naomi Klein 
Activist and author, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies
Toronto, Canada

Chung Hyun Kyung Associate Professor of Ecumenical Theology, Union Theological Seminary New York, NY

Margaret Lazarus 
Cambridge Documentary Films, Inc.
Cambridge, MA

Drea Leanza 
Women's Building 
Albany, New York

Valentia Leanza 
Averill Park, New York

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee 
Oakland, CA

Sally Lilienthal 
Ploughshares Fund 
Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

Elisabeth Linder 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Ruth Luschnat 
Frauen Netzwerk (Women's Network) Attac Germany 
Berlin, Germany

Virginia Macbin 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Joan Macdonald 
President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Auckland, Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Bonita Maywald 
Program Officer, Southeast Asia Regional Program, AusAID 
Canberra, Australia

U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney 
Decatur, GA

Anne McLaughlin 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Christopher McNulty 
Assistant Professor of Art 
Auburn University 
Auburn, AL

Helena M. Medeiros 
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Upstate Medical University 
Syracuse, NY

Traci Mitchell 
University of Mississippi 
University, MS

Anuradha Mittal 
Co-Director, Institute for Food and Development/ Food First 
Oakland, CA

Colette Morrow, Ph.D. 
Fulbright Scholar, Women's Studies 
Purdue Calumet 
Hammond, IN

Yolanda T. Moses 
Co-Director, Natural Initiative for Women in Higher Education 
Washington, DC

Jessica Neuwirth 
President, Equality Now 
New York, NY

Eileen Noyes-Verchereau, M.Div. 
Old West United Methodist Church 
Boston, MA

Carolyn O'Donnell 
Professor of Theatre 
Rowan University 
Glassboro, NJ

Karen Orenstein 
Washington Coordinator 
East Timor Action Network/U.S. 
Washington, DC

Sister Dianna Ortiz 
Director, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support 
Washington, DC

Cynthia Peters 
Writer and activist 
Jamaica Plain, MA

Fred Pfeil 
Department of English 
Trinity College
Hartford, CT

Usha Pillai, Ph.D. 
University of Queensland 
Brisbane, Australia

Georgia Lee Pinkel 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Sara Poehlman-Doumbouya
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom - United Nations Office and Program Associate, Peace Women 
New York, NY

Ana Esther Posada
Vice-President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Costa Rica

Judith Poxon 
Instructor, California State University 
Sacramento, CA

Kirsten Rambo 
Institute for Women's Studies 
Emory University Atlanta, GA

Carol Richards, Ph.D. 
Co-founder, Burma Forum 
Santa Monica, CA

Johnny Roberts 
Ontario, Canada

Mary Rose 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Xoana Rutherford 
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Lydia Sargent 
Editor, Z magazine, feminist author and writer 
Boston, MA

Richelle Schrock 
Columbus, OH

Birgit Clari Schùler 
Milan, Italy

Ivy Schweitzer 
Associate Professor, Dartmouth College 
Hanover, NH

Gayatri Sethi 
Program in Feminist Studies 
Stanford University Stanford, CA

Sue Severin 
President, Marin Interfaith Task Force 
San Anselmo, CA

Judith Shapiro 
President, Barnard College 
New York, NY

Vandana Shiva 
Director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology 
Dehra Dun, Uttar Pradesh, India

Kayann Short, Ph.D. 
Senior Instructor, University of Colorado 
Boulder, CO

Peter Snoad 
Cambridge, MA

Valerie Sperling 
Professor, Women's Studies and Government 
Clark University 
Worcester, MA

Silvia Spitta 
Associate Professor of Spanish Dartmouth College Hanover, NH

Gloria Steinem 
Activist and co-founder, Ms magazine 
New York, NY

Malama Tafuna'i, M.D. 
General Practitioner 
Apia, Samoa

Mary Terrall 
Assistant Professor of History, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA

Aili Tripp 
Director, Women's Studies Research Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Madison, WI

Shungu M. Tundanonga-Dikunda, Ph.D. 
Kongo Netzwerk 
Berlin, Germany

Jonathan Walker 
Instructor, Department of English 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
Chicago, IL

Beverly Walters 
Queensland, Australia

Denise Warren 
Adelaide, Australia

Olivia Watt 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 
Portland, OR

Cora Weiss 
President, Hague Appeal for Peace and International Peace Bureau 
New York, NY

Wendy Wolters 
Departments of English and Women's Studies, Ohio State University 
Columbus, OH

Emma Woodley 
Queensland University of Technology 

Alice Zachmann 
Director, Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA
Washington, DC

Mansoureh Zamani 
Executive Director, Association of Iranian Women-USA 
Alexandria, VA

Debra Zimmerman 
Executive Director, Women Make Movies 
New York, NY

To add your signature, please contact the East Timor Action Network with your name, organization, title, city and state for identification.

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