Subject: ICJ Investigation -'Balibo and Beyond'- on the web.
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 21:44:36
From: Andrew McNaughtan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello to all ,
This is a reminder/notification that the findings of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Colloqium into the killings of journalists in East Timor in 1975 and the 'Sherman Report' of 1996 is available on the website of the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
The Colloqium - 'BALIBO AND BEYOND' - was an investigation into the deaths of six Australian based journalists in East Timor, October - December 1975 convened by the Australian Section International Commission of Jurists at The University of New South Wales Sydney, 18 October, 1997.
It involved input from witnesses, journalists, researchers, family members and lawyers. At this point no 'hard copy' of the report has been made available , but it is on the internet.
A six part summary of events/papers/comments on the day, appendices and conclusions is available on the web at : http://www.smh.com.au/news/content/balibo
October 16 is the 23rd anniversary of the killings at Balibo. The cover up of the killing of the journalists is integral to the cover up and disinformation surrounding the invasion of East Timor.The journalists were targeted precisely because their intention was to report the truth of what was happening at the border at that time. The deaths of these journalists has been a symbol of the death of truth in the reporting of events in East Timor.
THERE WERE A NUMBER OF CONCLUSIONS OF THE ASICJ REPORT INCLUDING THESE :
4. That the Indonesian government is responsible for the deaths of the journalists at Balibo and Dili -
1. because there was a deliberate intention on the part of the military forces which set out from nearby Batugade and possibly elsewhere to kill the journalists in Balibo
2. that intention is consistent with the motive of concealing from world scrutiny the activities of the invading forces as they began their clandestine offensive on 16 October 1975
3. because of the deliberate killing of Roger East in Dili on 8 December 1975 together with scores of others at the wharf in Dili
5. That from the information presently available to the ASICJ included in the persons in respect of whom evidence of foreknowledge exists to make them persons who should give evidence before any properly conducted inquiry into responsibility for the killings at Balibo are -
General Yunus Yosfiah General Dading Kalbuadi (retd) General Beny Murdani (retd)
and those for the killing of Roger East in Dili are
Major Warsito Major General Suweno General Beny Murdani (retd)
RECOMMENDATIONS TO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - ASICJ
1. That the Australian government apologise to the relatives of all the journalists for the delay of more than twenty years before commissioning a report such as that prepared by Mr Tom Sherman with terms of reference to interview witnesses outside East Timor and outside the influence of the Indonesian military.
2. That the Australian Government appoint a suitably independent party, acting as convenor, whose duties will be, without further delay, to engage in consultation with all the relatives of those killed and then, according to the responses and wishes of the relatives, consult with the governments of the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Indonesia on the issues of repatriation of remains and compensation.
3. A Judicial Inquiry should be established forthwith by the Australian Government with power to compel witnesses to answer and to produce documents and in respect of whose inquiries the cooperation of the Indonesian Government should be sought
because it appears from the preliminary report into the matter by Mr Sherman and from the information which has come to the attention of the ASICJ referred to in this report that further important issues arise for investigation
and because there are witnessess still available to be interviewed,
4. That the ASICJ prepare a brief of evidence for presentation to the New South Wales Police Service and The Australian Federal Police comprising the facts and allegations surrounding the incidents in Balibo and Dili, with a request for investigation and whether charges should be laid against any person whether in Australia or elsewhere, and whether the matter of the death of any of the persons should be referred to a coroner for inquest.
5. That the ASICJ consult with the ICJ Geneva on the preparation of a formal request to the Red Cross Geneva for an inquiry under Additional Protocol 1 of Article 90 of the Geneva Conventions 1949 for an International Fact Finding Commission to be established to inquire into the incidents.
6. That those persons identified as being persons in the Indonesian chain of command be the subject of a request by the Australian Government addressed to the appropriate authorities in the European Union and the USA to cooperate in a denial of permission to enter each of the countries concerned in the event those persons refuse to cooperate with either the Australian Government's Judicial Inquiry or the International Fact Finding Mission.