Subject: RI-E.Timor CTF Reports: Victims Want Justice; No Prosecution;
Wirayudha: Case Closed
- Reuters: East Timor victims of 1999 violence want justice
- AFP: ETimor report should not prompt prosecutions: Indonesian MP
- Xinhua: Human rights violation case in Timor Leste closed: Indonesian FM
East Timor victims of 1999 violence want justice
By Tito Belo
DILI, July 15 (Reuters) - About nine years ago, Maria Do Rego and five other East Timorese women were raped in a military post after the results of a U.N.-sponsored independence vote were announced.
They are unlikely to be satisfied with Tuesday's expressions of regret from Indonesian and East Timor leaders for "gross human rights violations" in the 1999 violence in Timor. They want military leaders and others involved to be punished for their crimes.
"I want them to face justice and stay in jail," Do Rego said. "When I recall those times, I feel I don't have any reason to live anymore, because I was treated inhumanely," Do Rego told Reuters last week when the findings of a state-backed investigation were first reported in the media.
The report by the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) went further than many had expected in blaming Indonesian security forces for the mayhem. The presidents of Indonesia and East Timor expressed regret on Tuesday for the role state institutions played in the violence, but there was no apology.
"We ask the Indonesian government as an institution and military elements as individuals to apologise for their criminal acts in East Timor," Do Rego said.
"I don't want reparation, the money cannot buy my dignity as a woman."
Do Rego, who was separated from her husband after the incident and hasn't seen him since, is one of many victims of the violence who say they will only be satisfied if the perpetrators of the atrocities are brought to justice.
The CTF concluded that "gross human rights violations in the form of crimes against humanity did occur in East Timor in 1999 and that these violations included murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture, illegal detention".
The commission's report did not name any names but said pro-autonomy militia groups, Indonesia's military, civilian government and police must bear institutional responsibility.
It has no power to prosecute, prompting criticism that it serves to whitewash atrocities.
It has been boycotted by the United Nations.
"Whether it's a presidential apology or regret, it will not heal the wounds," Carlito da Silva, a pro-independence activist whose family was a victim of the violence, told Reuters.
"Psychologically, the victims have suffered for a long time. They have been in a traumatic situation ... the most important thing for the two nations is to bring generals and individuals in the Indonesian military to a tribunal."
"The Timorese and Indonesian people will be satisfied if the criminal actors face justice."
East Timorese voted overwhelmingly to split from Indonesian rule in 1999 and the U.N. estimates about 1,000 East Timorese died during the post-vote mayhem.
Several Indonesian military officials were tried in Indonesian human rights courts following the 1999 violence, but none was ultimately convicted.
"The report doesn't mention generals' names for individual responsibility," said Edio Saldanha, a representative of victims.
"There will be no justice for the victims so we continue to insist governments and justice institutions in Indonesia and Timor Leste bring generals like Wiranto ... and others to justice in court," he said.
"They are the key men because they made the plan, gave the money and weapons to the militia men."
Retired Indonesian military chief Wiranto, who was in charge of security in 1999, has denied any wrongdoing but rights groups have said they will push for him to be tried. (Writing by Sugita Katyal; Editing by Valerie Lee) (For related stories see [nJAK250185] and [nJAK128281]
ETimor report should not prompt prosecutions: Indonesian MP
JAKARTA, July 15 (AFP) -- No Indonesian suspected of orchestrating crimes against humanity in East Timor should be sent to face justice at the International Criminal Court, an Indonesian lawmaker said Tuesday.
Rights activists have said a truth report blaming Indonesia for the 1999 violence in East Timor, which is due to be accepted by the leaders of both countries in Bali on Tuesday, should lead to international prosecutions.
But Indonesian leaders have ruled out any cooperation with international prosecutors, saying the joint report by the two governments is meant to be an act of healing and reconciliation, not retribution.
"We reject any plan to bring the case to international justice," Sutradara Ginting, of parliament's defence and foreign affairs committee, told ElShinta radio.
"If the case is brought to an international court, the report becomes irrelevant.
"Through the commission, we have photographed that that incident happened and it's a lesson for the future."
Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono told the parliamentary defence commission on Monday that the issue "should not be brought before an international court because it is about reconciliation between two countries."
Some 1,400 people were killed and thousands injured or displaced in 1999 when pro-Indonesian militias, backed and supported by Jakarta, rampaged across the then-province of East Timor to disrupt an independence referendum.
Indonesia's acceptance of the Commission of Truth and Friendship report after three years of joint investigations will be the first time it has acknowledged its responsibility for crimes against humanity in East Timor.
But no Indonesian commander or civilian leader has ever been successfully convicted of involvement in the systematic violence which included murder, illegal detention, forced deportation and rape.
The report, a leaked copy of which was obtained by AFP, says the Indonesian army, police and government encouraged and even participated in the crimes, and bear "institutional responsibility."
But it does not name any suspects and has no power to prosecute, two reasons its work was boycotted by the United Nations which has demanded those responsible be brought to justice.
"We should be consistent to our commitment that it (the commission) was formed for reconciliation and peace," Ginting said.
"The commission's goal is not to find who's right and wrong. But it's for enhancing friendship."
East Timor, which was a Portuguese colony before Indonesia invaded in 1975, finally gained formal independence in May 2002.
Human rights violation case in Timor Leste closed: Indonesian FM
JAKARTA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The human rights violation case prior to and after Timor Leste's independence referendum in 1999 was officially closed after the Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF) submitted its report to Indonesia and Timor Leste, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirajuda said Tuesday.
"With CTF's final report, the human rights violation case before and after the 1999 referendum is closed and would not be brought to legal process," Antara news agency quoted the minister as saying in the country's resort island of Bali.
The final report was submitted by CTF chairman Benyamin Mangkoedilaga from Indonesia, to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Timor Leste President Ramos Horta, and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in Bali on Tuesday.
The report said the Indonesian government, military and police were responsible for the riots prior to and after Timor Leste's independence referendum in 1999, during which hundreds of people were killed and tens of thousands of people fled their home to Indonesia and Australia.
The two governments have agreed to follow up on the report with an action plan referring to the commission's recommendations.
The two governments have accepted the report and deplored the case, while sharing their commitments to implementing the commission's recommendations.
"CTF's report would be handed over to both countries' parliaments, while its document would be open to the public," he said, adding that such transparency was expected to enhance bilateral ties.
Meanwhile, Timor Leste's Foreign Affairs Minister Zacaria Albano Da Costa said that the two governments have implemented some of CTF's recommendations, including the opening of markets in border areas.
He expressed the hope that CTF's final report would open a new page in both countries' histories.
The CTF was jointly formed by Indonesia and Timor Leste to establish the conclusive truth in regard to the events prior to and immediately after the popular consultation in 1999.
It was formed on March 9, 2005 and installed its members on August 14, 2005. The CTF headquarters is located in Bali.
The CTF worked on three cases before and after the referendum, namely the killing in Liquica Church, acts of damaging Manuel Carrascalao's house, and the Santa Cruz riot.
Indonesian, E. Timor leaders express remorse over 1999 violence
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, July 15 (Kyodo News) -- The top leaders of Indonesia and East Timor accepted Tuesday a final report from a bilateral Commission of Truth and Friendship on human rights violations in East Timor in 1999.
''We accept the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Commission and recognize that gross violations of human rights occurred prior to and immediately after the popular consultation in East Timor in 1999,'' a statement signed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta and East Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.
''On behalf of the government of Indonesia and the government of Timor Leste, we express our remorse to all those who suffered immeasurable pain and physical and psychological wounds as direct or indirect victims of violations of human rights that occurred in the period leading up to and immediately following the popular consultation in East Timor in August 1999,'' the statement continued.
Earlier Tuesday, the Commission, which just finalized almost 30 months years of work, handed over the more than 300-page report on the violence before and after the vast majority of East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia in August 1999.
After accepting the report, the two governments pledged to implement the commission's recommendations and to take ''other necessary initiatives'' to further promote friendship and reconciliation between the two countries.
In a speech ahead of the signing of the statement, Ramos-Horta also said both countries need to ''acknowledge the countries' recent common history and move toward the future in the spirit of forgiveness.''
''Justice is not only prosecutorial, justice must also be restorative,'' Ramos Horta said.
Yudhoyono said the victims of the human rights violations should not be forgotten.
''We expressed deeply remorse for what happened in the past, that affected human lives and properties,'' he said.
The commission report obtained by Kyodo News said that a campaign of ''coordinated gross human rights violations requires planning, and logistical and financial support.''
''The commission concluded that the evidence demonstrated that TNI and police personnel, as well as civilian officials, were at times involved in virtually every phase of these activities that resulted in gross human rights violations, including murder, rape, torture, illegal detention and other severe deprivations of physical liberty, and forcible transfer and deportation,'' the report states.
''This kind of sustained and coordinated activity involving many forms of support, encouragement, and cooperation forms the basis of the commission's conclusion that the TNI, Polri, and civilian government all bear institutional responsibility for these crimes,'' it added, referring to Indonesian Armed Forces by the acronym TNI and to the police as Polri.
The commission said the two presidents should make a joint statement inviting both countries to overcome the legacy of past violence and work toward preventing a recurrence of conflict and toward promotion of lasting friendship in the future.
''The Commission recommends that the two presidents together acknowledge responsibility for past violence and apologize to the peoples of the two nations and especially to the victims of violence for the suffering they have endured,'' it said.
Yudhoyono expressed remorse over the Indonesian actions in East Timor, but he made no direct apology, nor did Ramos-Horta overtly seek one.
The commission made no recommendations for amnesty or rehabilitation of any individuals or groups involved in the violence and right violations.
The commission concluded that amnesty would ''not be in accordance'' with its goals of ''restoring human dignity, creating the foundation for reconciliation between the two countries and ensuring the non-recurrence of violence'' within a framework guaranteed by the rule of law.
The commission did recommend, however, a series of ''urgent institutional reforms,'' including a human rights training program focused specifically on the role of security forces and intelligence organizations in, among others, conflict and civil unrest.
As part of a long-term strategy by both countries to foster reconciliation and friendship, the commission also recommended the promotion of cultural and educational exchanges such as teacher and scholar exchanges at all school levels.
''Such exchanges should include programs to promote the teaching of Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesia's national language) in the curriculum of schools in Timor Leste from the primary level,'' the report said.
The commission also recommended considering allowing a dual citizenship option for children born of mixed Indonesian and East Timorese parentage.