GemOffenerBrief

Release of former militia leader Eurico Guterres brings Indonesia’s farcical process to an end

Joint Letter

Militia Leader Eurico Guterres 1999

Militia Leader Eurico Guterres 1999

Photo: Jörg Meier

1st June 2008

His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon Secretary-General The United Nations 1 United Nations Plaza New York, New York 10017-3515 Your Excellency, The recent release of former militia leader Eurico Guterres by the Indonesian Supreme Court brings Indonesia’s farcical process to an end. Meaningful justice to the long-suffering people of Timor-Leste is long overdue. We urge you to work to uphold the rule of law and strengthen the democratic transition in both countries. It time for the United Nations and the international community to fulfill their long-standing commitment to see that justice is done for crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste. As you know, Eurico Guterres was tried by Indonesia’s Ad Hoc Court on charges of murder and persecution as crimes against humanity along with 17 other defendants. All have now walked free. Indonesia created this court to deflect demands for an international tribunal. The UN’s Commission of Experts (COE) conducted a thorough analysis of the Ad Hoc Court, describing it as “manifestly inadequate.” The COE identified such major flaws as a lack of commitment on the part of the prosecution, deficient investigations, inadequate presentation of evidence, a courtroom atmosphere that did not inspire confidence in the public mind, inconsistent verdicts, and an unwillingness to utilize sound jurisprudence. The COE concluded that the Ad Hoc Court “was not effective in delivering justice”, and revealed “scant respect for or conformity to relevant international standards”. Even one of the judges in the Ad Hoc Court conceded that it had “not made any significant contribution to strengthening the rule of law in Indonesia”. In this context, Guterres’ acquittal only highlights the flawed nature of that process. The “Updated Set of principles for the protection and promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity” [E/CN.4/2005/102/Add.1], states: “The fact that an individual has previously been tried in connection with a serious crime under international law shall not prevent his or her prosecution with respect to the same conduct if the purpose of the previous proceedings was to shield the person concerned from criminal responsibility, or if those proceedings otherwise were not conducted independently or impartially in accordance with the norms of due process recognized by international law and were conducted in a manner that, in the circumstances, was inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned to justice.” We submit that both exceptions apply to the Ad Hoc Court, meaning that those acquitted are still able to face a credible court. We urge you to work to establish a meaningful legal process to try those responsible for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious crimes committed by Indonesian forces during the occupation of Timor-Leste.

Total Destruction Dili 1999

Total Destruction Dili 1999

Photo: Jörg Meier

The upcoming report of the flawed, bilateral Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF) must not stand as the last word on these issues. We applaud your predecessor’s decision – reiterated by you – not to confer legitimacy on the CTF. The right to know (the truth) and the right to justice are inalienable, and are a bulwark against the culture of impunity represented by the Ad Hoc Court and the CTF. The independent Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the UN’s Commission of Experts both recommended the creation of “an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for Timor-Leste” should Indonesia, under a strict time frame, continue to fail to credibly prosecute senior officials responsible for the devastation in 1999. The Guterres acquittal confirms that the Indonesian government is unable to deliver justice. We therefore call upon you to work towards the creation of an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for those who bear greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed from 1975 onwards, not just in 1999. If this is not feasible, we urge you to fully reconstitute the Serious Crimes process, providing it with sufficient resources and backing. This should be done in accordance with recommendations 7.1.1 and 7.1.2 of the CAVR Report – namely, the UN itself should provide the resources and judicial expertise, not Timor-Leste’s court system. Indonesia, which is currently a member of both the Security Council and UN Human Rights Council, must extradite for trial those charged by the Serious Crimes process.

Burned Huts Aileu 1999

Burned Huts Aileu 1999

Photo: Jörg Meier

There is overwhelming support for justice for past crimes within Timor-Leste, especially by the Church, civil society and victims’ associations. Indonesian civil society groups are also emphatic in their support of the justice agenda, seeing it as vital to their nation’s democratic transition. We remind you of the Security Council’s earlier commitments, expressed more than seven years ago in Resolutions 1264 and 1272, to bring those responsible to justice. Timor-Leste faces tremendous difficulties in taking the lead on the matter of justice in the face of opposition from its powerful neighbor. The international community, as embodied in the United Nations, must be involved in addressing these crimes which violated international criminal law, the UN charter and Security Council resolutions. Yours sincerely, Pedro Pinto Leite, Secretary International Platform of Jurists for East Timor Shulamith Koenig, Founding President Recipient of the 2003 UN Human Rights Award People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning (PDHRE) Paul van Zyl, Executive Vice President International Center for Transitional Justice Brad Adams, Executive Director Asia Division, Human Rights Watch Charles Scheiner International Secretariat International Federation for East Timor Robert O. Varenik, Acting Executive Director Open Society Justice Initiative. International League for Human Rights Matt Easton Director, Human Rights Defenders Program Human Rights First Land is Life David McReynolds, former Chair War Resisters International Xisto do Santos, Board Member Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal (ANTI) Yasinta Lujina, Justice coordinator Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk) Timotio de Deus, Executive Director Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Dili, Timor-Leste Jose Luis de Oliveira, Director Edio Saldanha Borges, Manager Upholding Justice Division, Association HAK Dili, Timor-Leste Mericio Akara, Program Coordinator Luta Hamutuk, Timor-Leste Joao Pequinho, Executive Coordinator FORUM TAU MATAN, Timor-Leste Titi Irawati Fortilos (Forum Solidarity For East Timor) Suraiya IT International Forum for Aceh Nel Pattinama, Supervisor Moluccan Human Rights Organization “Maluku Masa Depan” Gustaf Dupe Chairman, Association of Prison Ministries Chairman, Law Enforcement Watch Head, International Communication Department of the LPR KROB (Institute of Struggle for the Rahabilitation of Victims of the New Order Regime) Jakarta, Indonesia Friends Of The Third World Sri Lanka Ruki Fernando Coordinator, Human Rights in Conflict program, Law & Society Trust (LST) Sri Lanka Kyo Kageura Japan East Timor Coalition Maire Leadbeater, Spokesperson Indonesia Human Rights Committee Auckland, New Zealand Edwina Hughes, Coordinator Peace Movement Aotearoa Dr. Clinton Fernandes Australian Coalition for Transitional Justice in East Timor Ms Jude Conway Asia Pacific Support Collective (APSC) Rob Wesley-Smith, spokesperson Australians for a Free East Timor, Darwin Brian T. Manning Campaign for an Independent East Timor, Darwin Dr Vacy Vlazna, Former Coordinator East Timor Justice Lobby Acheh Human Rights Online Dave Arkins, Secretary Australia West Papua Association South Australia Celine Massa, Campaign Organiser SEARCH Foundation, Australia Australia-East Timor Friendship Association (SA) Inc. Australia-East Timor Association (Victoria) Mary Waterford Wendy Whitton Blue Mountains East Timor Sisters Australia Joe Collins, Secretary Andrew Johnson Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) United Nations Association of Australia (South Australian Division) Adelaide, Australia Amanda and Michael Freund Australia West Papua Association – Newcastle Jess Agustin Development and Peace, Canada Glenn Raynor, Executive Director Pacific Peoples’ Partnership Victoria, BC, Canada Larry Colero, Moderator WestPAN: Canada’s West Papua Action Network Seh Ching Wen, President Canadians Committed to Ethnic Voice in Indonesia (CCEVI) Green Lotus International Toronto, ON, Canada Gabriel Jonsson, Chairman Swedish East Timor Committee Carmel Budiardjo. Co-director TAPOL, Promoting Human Rights Peace and Justice in Indonesia Dr. Steve Kibble, Advocacy Coordinator Africa, Middle East, Asia Progressio Bruno Kahn and Antonio Dias Agir pour Timor, Paris Carlos Semedo France-Timor Leste Jose Ignacio Alguero Cuervo, Secretario General Sindicato Comisiones Obreras en La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain Prof. Dr. Jaume Saura, President Human Rights Institute of Catalonia Barcelona, Spain Frank Willems Stichting Zelfbeschikking West-Sahara The Hague, Netherlands Marie Frison Association solidarité enfants sahraouis France Dr Teresa Cunha, President Action for Justice and Peace – World March of Women Portugal Ronny Hansen, Chairman Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara Oslo, Norway Sara Eyckmans, Solidariteitsgroep Westelijke Sahara, Belgium Monika Schlicher, Watch Indonesia!, Working Group for Democracy, Human Rights and Environmental protection in Indonesia and East Timor, Germany Noam Chomsky M.I.T. Shirley Shackleton Activist for Timor Leste since 1975 Frank Ruddy U.S. Ambassador (ret.) Washington, DC Roger S. Clark, Board of Governors Professor, Rutgers University School of Law Camden, New Jersey Marco Perduca, Senator Radicals-Democratic Party, Italy Dr. Karin Arts Associate Professor in International Law and Development Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands Geoffrey C. Gunn, Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Economics, Nagasaki University, JAPAN Prof G Peter King Senior Associate Member, St Antony’s College Oxford, UK Sylvia Lawson Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Technology, Sydney, Australia Dr. Brad Simpson, PhD Assistant Professor of History Princeton University Director, Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project Eduardo Trillo de Martin-Pinillos Professor of International Law Uned University Madrid, Spain John M. Miller, National Coordinator East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) Ed McWilliams West Papua Advocacy Team (Rev.) James Kofski, M.M. Asia/Pacific and Middle East Issues Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns Mark Harrison United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society Rev. Dr. Dennis M. Davidson President, Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship The Borneo Project Berkeley, CA Marie Lucey, OSF LCWR Associate Director for Social Mission Leadership Conference of Women Religious Rev. John Chamberlin, National Coordinator East Timor Religious Outreach Green Delaware Peace Action (United States) Peace Action Wisconsin Vicky Steinitz, Co-coordinator Cambridge (MA) United for Justice with Peace Sister Eileen Brady Maryknoll Sisters Joao Crisostomo, President Luso American Movement for East Timorese Auto Determination (LAMETA) Peter Bohmer, Olympia (WA) Movement for Justice and Peace Faculty, Economics, The Evergreen State College Daniel Muller, Executive Director Peace Action Maine Georgy Katsiaficas President, Peace Island Foundation, USA Carol Jahnkow, Executive Director Peace Resource Center of San Diego Liz Ryder West Papua Action Network Sebastian Dettman Committee to Protect Journalists Elaine Donovan co-founder Concerned Citizens for Peace Hemlock, NY Carolyn Scarr, Program Coordinator Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC Bill Ramsey, Coordinator Human Rights Action Service St. Louis, MO Sharon Silber and Eileen Weiss, co-founders Jews Against Genocide Rosemarie Pace, Director Pax Christi Metro New York Jeff Ballinger, Director Press for Change Diana Bohn Nicaragua Center for Community Action Berkeley, CA John Witeck Philippine Workers Support Committee Dr. Wm. Joseph Farnon East Timor and Indonesia Action Network/Philadelphia G. Simon Harak, S. J., Director Marquette University Center for Peacemaking Milwaukee WI William R. Seaman, Coordinator East Timor Action Network / Portland Mariza Cabral Seattle International Human Rights Coalition Vivek Ananthan VIS-CCA, Philadelphia, Pa Windyn Hines ETAN and YWCA Middle Rio Grande Albuquerque, New Mexico Jim Haber, Coordinator War Resisters League-West San Francisco, CA Carlos Wilson, Executive Director U.S.-Western Sahara Foundation San Diego, CA Polly Mann Women Against Military Madness Minneapolis, MN Emmanuel Martinoli, physician, ARSO, Association de soutien a un referendum libre et regulier au Sahara Occidental Switzerland Aleksandr Zerebko Lawyer Klaipeda, Lithuania Iain Scobbie Sir Joseph Hotung Research Professor in Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Stephanie Koury Senior Research Fellow and lawyer School of Oriental and African Studies, London Jose Manuel Pureza Member, International Council of IPJET Professor, International Law and International Relations, University of Coimbra, Portugal Maria Ines David Research Assistant Centre for the Studies of Migration and Ethnic Minorities Lisbon Thomas Skouteris Lecturer and Academic Program Coordinator Master’s in Advanced Studies in Public International Law Grotius Center, Faculty of Law, Leiden University The Hague Dr David Webster Department of History and Asian Institute University of Toronto Jørgen Johansen Transcend Peace University European Peace University Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University Lorna Bowles Sydney Australia Jean-Yves Hamel Human Development Report Office/UNDP New York, NY Wout Albers Netherlands Khatab representing myself as an Acehnese living in US Kaye Paton Blue Mountains City Council Community Access Bus Bookings Officer and concerned citizen, Australia Mr Dimitrios Tsironis Melbourne, Australia Artien Utrecht Delft, the Netherlands Suzana Braz Student, IPJET, Portugal Jean Inglis Hiroshima Julie Byrnes Enslow Milwaukee, WI Sue Severin San Anselmo, CA Mrs Jane Wilson Adelaide, Australia Glenn Humphreys, Member Community & Public Sector Union NSW Australia Esther Anderson Boroondara, Australia Kate Gillespie-Jones Canterbury, Victoria Australia Monica O’Wheel Australia

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