Contact: John M. Miller,
April 21, 2004 - In a statement, John
M. Miller, spokesperson for the East Timor Action Network
We are dismayed at the Golkar Party's nomination of General
Wiranto for President of Indonesia. The people of Indonesia and East
Timor deserve better. Wiranto must stand
trial, not stand for office.
We join the people of East Timor in extreme discouragement at the
prospects for justice and the future security of the new nation.
Wiranto is responsible through acts of omission and commission
for the gravest violations of human right in East Timor and
Wirantoís rise in Indonesian politics speaks volumes about the
failure of the United Nations, the U.S. and other countries to act
quickly and forcefully for justice. The cycle of impunity continues;
those responsible for the devastation in East Timor are now
directing similar campaigns in Aceh and Papua.
We urge the United Nations to revisit the recommendation to
establish an international tribunal for East Timor made by the
Commission of Inquiry in January 2000. We urge the U.S. Congress and
Bush administration to withhold all military assistance for
Indonesia until Wiranto and others responsible for crimes against
humanity in East Timor and Indonesia are brought to justice in
judicial processes consistent with international standards.
Further, the United States should keep Wiranto on its
list and bar his travel to the US. All nations should actively work
to bring him to justice. If he does travel outside Indonesia,
Wiranto should be arrested and transferred to East Timor, where he
has been indicted for crimes against humanity. Regardless of the
outcome of the coming Indonesian election, his indictment will
remain in force until he is arrested and brought to trial.
Justice for East Timor must not take second place to the
so-called "war on terrorism" in Indonesia. Indeed, prosecution of
Wiranto and others responsible for war crimes and crimes against
humanity from the 1975 through 1999 in East Timor is necessary to
ending the state-sanctioned terror of Indonesia's security forces
throughout the archipelago.
Wiranto was Armed Forces Commander and Defense Minister in 1999.
Prior to and after East Timorís overwhelming vote for independence,
his troops and their militia proxies conducted a campaign of terror
resulting in more than 1400 deaths, displacement of three-quarters
of the population and destruction of more than 75% of East Timor's
On February 24, 2003, Wiranto was
indicted in East Timor for
crimes against humanity before the Dili Special Panel, a joint
UN-East Timorese court. Soon after, the U.S. State Department placed
Wiranto on its visa watch list. Last month, prosecutors in East
an extensive brief
summarizing their evidence against the general.
Indonesia's presidential election takes place July 5. A runoff
will take place September 20 if no candidate get more than 50%.
ETAN works with civil society in East Timor and Indonesia in
calling for an international tribunal to prosecute crimes against
humanity that took place in East Timor since 1975 (see
Rights & Justice page).