EAST TIMOR: Indonesian pre-1999 war criminals not being brought to justice


Urgent Appeal Case: UA000315
ISSUES: Impunity,

MARCH 15: The UN is currently investigating crimes against humanity that have occurred in East Timor. Recent inquiries in East Timor have revealed that the UN does not intend to prosecute anyone other than those involved in violence in 
1999. This is grossly inadequate, considering the Indonesian military invaded the territory in 1975 and instigated a reign of terror right up to the elections in 1999. 

Due to the occupation of the Indonesian military from 1975 up to 1998, around one third of the population of East Timor died through starvation and through killings such as those at the Santa Cruz cemetery in 1991. The proportion of those killed between 1975 and 1998 is far greater than that of the Jews during World War II, and it is not considered too late to try Nazi war criminals. 


Please fax/write to the United Nations, urging them to try the 
perpertrators of crimes against humanity in East Timor during the 1975-1998 period. You may use the letter AHRC has sent to Mr. Annan and Ms. Robinson (which appears 
below) as a guide. 


Dear Mr. Annan, 

The Asian Human Rights Commission calls on the United Nations to take effective steps to prosecute all those suspected of human rights violations in East Timor. 

United Nations efforts so far to bring to justice those responsible for 25 years of suffering by the East Timorese people have been grossly inadequate and marred by misguided and unacceptable policy decisions. In particular the Asian Human Rights Commission understands that the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET) is only seeking to investigate atrocities which occurred in the year 1999, ignoring the previous 24 years of genocide, 
torture, massacres and arbitrary killings. This is profoundly offensive to the relatives of those who died between 1975 and 1998 and to the most basic idea of justice. 

The Asian Human Rights Commission calls on the United Nations to take effective steps to bring to trial all those still alive who are responsible for: 
1) waging aggressive war against East Timor in 1975; 
2) the murder of 5 foreign journalists at Balibo, East Timor, in 1975; 
3) the massacre of civilians at the Dili waterfront immediately after the landing of Indonesian troops in 1975; 
4) the bombing and strafing of civilian populations from the air during the period of Indonesian occupation; 
5) the use of civilian forced labour and multiple massacres during the ¡°encirclement and annihilation¡± campaigns of 1978 and 1979; 
6) the Santa Cruz Cemetery massacre in 1991; 
7) all other murders and incidents of torture by Indonesian Government agents during the period of Indonesian occupation. 

The Asian Human Rights Commission further calls on the United Nations to: 
8) immediately increase by at least four-fold the resources 
available to UNTAET for investigation of these atrocities; 
9) collaborate more closely with CNRT and other East Timorese organisations and individuals in carrying out investigations in East Timor; 
10) collaborate more closely with KPP-Ham and other Indonesian organisations investigating from within Indonesia; 
11) set up an international tribunal for the trial of the most senior persons suspected of committing these crimes , similar to the tribunals set up for Bosnia and Rwanda; 
12) issue international arrest warrants for the most senior suspects including General Prabowo Subianto and General Zacky An war Makarim. With assurance of cooperation for promoting the objectives of the United Nations, 

yours sincerely, 


Mr. Kofi Annan 
United Nations Secretary General 
United Nations Headquarters 
New York NY 10017 
FAX: +1 212 963 2155 

Ms. Mary Robinson 
High Commissioner for Human Rights 
United Nations Centre for Human Rights 
Palais des Nations 
CH 1211 Geneve 10 
FAX: +41 22 917 9022

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA000315
Countries : East Timor,
Issues : Impunity,