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  • » 12/21/2005, 00.00

    east timor - indonesia

    East Timor: 183,000 killed under Indonesian rule



    An investigation identifies by name the victims of the human rights abuses, as well as those who carried them out. The abuses described by the report include collective executions, torture and the forced removal of people from their homes.

    Dili (AsiaNews) - An investigation into human rights violations has found at least 183,000 people were killed in East Timor during its 24 years of occupation by Indonesia.

    The report by the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation, says 70 per cent of the deaths were at the hands of Indonesian security forces or East Timorese militias trained by Jakarta.

    The commission was set up in 2002 as an independent authority to investigate rights violations from all sides during Indonesia's occupation.

    The 2,000-plus-page report was delivered on October 31 to East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao, who suggested to legislators last month that its findings and recommendations should not be made public. The commission identifies by name the victims of the human rights abuses, as well as those who carried them out. The abuses described by the report include collective executions, torture and the forced removal of people from their homes.

    Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 but the country's people voted in favour of breaking away in a UN-sponsored ballot in August 1999, and it gained full independence in May 2002 after more than two years of UN stewardship. Militia gangs directed by Indonesian Army officers killed around 1,500 independence supporters, laid waste to much of the infrastructure and forcibly deported 250,000 people after the UN-supervised poll. Despite the contrary view of the United Nations, in March the two governments set up a ten-member bilateral Commission for Truth and Friendship, five for each side. The Commission has been charged with shedding light on the events that surrounded Indonesia's pullout from the former Portuguese colony.

    Timorese Bishops rejected the Commission, that doesn't have any power to pursue anyone before a court of law for war crimes or crimes against humanity.

    Bishops ask instead for "the continued intervention of the United Nations to achieve justice for the people of East Timor".

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    See also

    10/03/2005 INDONESIA - EAST TIMOR
    Joint Truth and Friendship Commission set up
    The Commission's mandate is to find the 'truth' about the 1999 violence but it cannot prosecute. The United Nations and the Catholic Church remain opposed. Human rights activists say that justice won't be done for the victims.

    19/07/2008 INDONESIA - EAST TIMOR
    East Timor and Indonesia promote a future of friendship
    On July 15, the two countries signed an agreement intended to overcome the crimes and violence of the past. Relief expressed by retired general Wiranto, former head of the army, among those most responsible for the massacres of 1999.

    08/04/2005 EAST TIMOR - INDONESIA
    Susilo's historic visit to East Timor
    For the first time since East Timor's independence, an Indonesian President will visit the cemetery of Santa Cruz, where unarmed Timorese civilians were massacred by Indonesian troops. Susilo will also sign a border agreement with East Timor.

    19/02/2007 INDONESIA – TIMOR
    Truth and Friendship Commission starts hearings
    The commission will investigate atrocities that took place just before East Timor became independent from Indonesia but it will not have the power to prosecute perpetrators. The UN and the local Catholic Church are among the voices of dissent: justice will not be done in this way.

    21/01/2008 EAST TIMOR
    High risk of violence in East Timor
    The International Crisis Group warns in a report of dangers urging the government of the young nation and the United Nations to quickly reform the defence sector. Continuing tensions between army and police threaten the country’s stability.



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