Subject: NZ & Aussie activst call for CAVR report release



Wellington, Dec 4 NZPA - A human rights group is urging the Government to ask the Timor Leste (East Timor) government to release a report that could be critical of New Zealand and Australia.

Indonesia Human Rights Committee spokeswoman Maire Leadbeater said the report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation had just been presented to the Timor Leste Parliament.

``It does not spare the western nations who gave military and diplomatic backing to Indonesia as well as the role of arms corporations that profited from the sale of weapons to Indonesia,'' Ms Leadbeater said.

The report recommends those nations and corporations pay reparations to the victims of human rights violations.

``President Xanana Gusmao is reluctant to release the report presumably for fear of offending Timor Leste's neighbours. However New Zealand should indicate that it is in support of truth and not afraid to face up to its complicity in the Indonesian invasion and occupation of Timor Leste.''

Ms Leadbeater said New Zealand gave Indonesia military training and diplomatic support throughout the period it occupied Timor Leste and did not criticise it.

``In 1978 while a brutal war was at its height New Zealand declared that the occupation was `irreversible'. New Zealand did not vote for a single one of the 10 UN resolutions supporting the right of the Timorese people to self-determination.''

The report also recommended people responsible for war crimes be tried, Ms Leadbeater said.

NZPA PAR mt mgr


Last Update: Sunday, December 4, 2005. 12:23pm (AEDT)

Call for action on E Timor human rights abuse report

Human rights campaigners are calling on the President of East Timor to release a report into human rights abuse.

The United Nations-commissioned report was handed over to the East Timorese Government last week and documents human rights abuse in the country from 1975 to 1999.

A spokesman for Australians for a Free East Timor in Darwin says the report calls for the prosecution of those who carried out the abuse.

Rob Wesley-Smith says President Xanana Gusmao is not happy with the recommendations.

"Basically they're allowing for impunity to the Indonesian military because they're scared that the Indonesians will stop cooperating with East Timor, squeeze them economically and militarily," he said.

He says Australia must act.

"We allowed the impunity in '75 so our immediate neighbour copped a genocide for the next 24 years, it's just not good enough," he said.

"We have to be consistent and if we want to preach morality to other countries whether it's the death penalty or military action, we have to be consistent ourselves."

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