12/21/2005, 00.00
east timor - indonesia
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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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