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Letter to UN Secretary-General on justice for East Timor

PO Box 21873, Brooklyn NY 11202 718-596-7668, etan@etan.org

His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon Secretary-General The United Nations 1 United Nations Plaza New York, New York 10017-3515

December 13, 2007

Mr. Secretary-General,

CTFWe are a coalition of more than 70 human rights organizations from 14 countries around the world, concerned about justice for the people of Timor-Leste. On this, your first visit as Secretary-General to Timor-Leste, we remind you that its people suffered countless war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Indonesian invasion and 24-year occupation of their homeland. These crimes occurred in violation of the UN charter, numerous United Nations resolutions and human rights treaties. We draw your attention to the solemn commitments of the Security Council, expressed in Resolutions 1264 and 1272, and those of your predecessor, His Excellency Kofi Annan, to bring those responsible to justice. In this context, we congratulate you for refusing to legitimize the bilateral Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF) and for reiterating that the UN “cannot endorse or condone amnesties for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or gross violations of human rights, nor should it do anything that might foster them”. It is clear that both Indonesia’s Ad Hoc Human Rights Court and the CTF have proven manifestly unsuitable in design and implementation to the task of delivering justice in accordance with international law. The Serious Crimes process (which only dealt with crimes committed in 1999) was terminated by the Security Council in May 2005 although its work was far from complete. Since then the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) has re-established the Serious Crimes Investigation Team to complete investigations into outstanding cases from 1999. UNMIT’s recent “Report on human rights developments in Timor-Leste August 2006 – August 2007,” highlighted the role that the report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR) can play within Timor-Leste in both ‘unifying’ Timorese society and helping to ‘foster a democratic culture based on the rule of law’. We urge you to convene an open debate at the United Nations of the CAVR’s recommendations to the international community. Both the CAVR and the UN Commission of Experts 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. This call for substantive justice for past crimes is widely supported within Timor-Leste, especially by the Church and civil society. However, the leaders of Timor-Leste need the support of the United Nations and other key international actors in addressing this, as they cannot be expected to bear such a difficult diplomatic burden on their own. Accordingly, in anticipation of an international criminal tribunal, we urge you to fully reconstitute the Serious Letter on justice for Timor-Leste page 2 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. The Serious Crimes process must investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed from 1975 onwards, not just those committed in 1999. 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. In February 2000, your predecessor called for “justice to prevail over impunity” while standing in a churchyard in Liquiça, the site of one of the most notorious 1999 massacres. We urge you to do all within your power to ensure this occurs. Sincerely, John M. Miller, National Coordinator East Timor & Indonesian Action Network, USA UN Representative, International Federation for East Timor (IFET) Yasinta Lujina, Coordinator Viriato Seac, Researcher La’o Hamutuk Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis, Timor-Leste Mericio Akara, Program Manager Luta Hamutuk – Timor Leste José Caetano Guterres. Coordinator of Coordinating Committee Dr. Phyllis Ferguson East Timor Reflection Network Timotio de Deus, Director Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Antero Benedito Peace and Community Development Centre Naldo Rei Media Advisor and Author of “Resistance: A Childhood Fighting For East Timor” Jose Teixeira Former Minister for Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy, R.D.T.L. Government Member Timor-Leste National Parliament Rafendi Djamin, Coordinator Indonesian Human Rights Working Group Suraiya IT, Chair International Forum for Aceh Paul van Zyl, Executive Vice President International Center for Transitional Justice Charles Scheiner International Secretariat International Federation for East Timor Brad Adams, Director for Asia Human Rights Watch Anselmo Lee, Executive Director Tadzrul T. Hamzah, South East Asia Programme Officer FORUM-ASIA, Thailand Tupou Vere, Director Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, Fiji Gus Miclat Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC), Philippines Juan Federer, Former Coordinator East Timor International Support Center Pedro Pinto Leite, Secretary International Platform of Jurists for East Timor, The Netherlands Roger S. Clark, Board of Trustees International League for Human Rights Bobbi Nassar, UN Representative International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers Robert B. Fisher, Chairperson VIVAT International Brian Keane Land Is Life James Dunn, UNTAET expert on crimes against humanity in East Timor 2001-2002, Australia Dr. Clinton Fernandes Australian Coalition for Transitional Justice in East Timor Dr Helen M. Hill, Chairperson Australia-East Timor Association (Victoria) Brendan Doyle, Treasurer Jefferson Lee, Projects Officer Australia East Timor Association (NSW) Rob Wesley-Smith, Convenor Australians for a Free East Timor, Darwin Eko Waluyo Indonesia Solidarity, Sydney Miriam Tonkin, Chairperson Australia East Timor Friendship Association, (SA) Brian T. Manning Campaign for an Independent East Timor, Australia Celine Massa, Campaign Organiser SEARCH Foundation, Australia Maire Leadbeater, Spokesperson Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Auckland Kevin McBride National Coordinator Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand Kyo Kageura Japan East Timor Coalition Geoffrey C. Gunn, Professor of International Relations Nagasaki University, Japan Former consultant sociologist to UNTAET; former consultant to CAVR on “international actors.” Carmel Budiardjo, Director TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, UK Christine Allen, Executive Director James Whitehead, Director of International Programmes, Progressio, London, UK Gabriel Jonsson, Chairman Swedish East Timor Committee Ms. Nel Pattinama, supervisor Maluku Masa Depan Foundation Moluccan Human Rights Organization The Netherlands Dr. Monika Schlicher, Executive Director Watch Indonesia! Working Group for Democracy, Human Rights Environmental Protection in Indonesia and East Timor, Berlin, Germany Bruno Kahn Directeur de recherche CNRS Paris, France Carlos Semedo France-Timor Leste David Webster, Former Coordinator East Timor Alert Network, Canada Matt Easton, Director Human Rights Defenders Program, Human Rights First Ed McWilliams, retired senior Foreign Service Officer, former Political Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Jakarta West Papua Advocacy Team Jim Winkler, General Secretary General Board of Church and Society. The United Methodist Church, USA Rev. Dr. Dennis M. Davidson, President Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship, USA David Robinson, Executive Director Pax Christi USA Rev. James Kofski, Associate Asia/Pacific and Middle East Issues, Maryknoll Global Concerns, Washington, DC Eileen Gannon,OP Dominican Leadership Conference, USA Marie Lucey OSF, Associate Director Leadership Conference of Women Religious, USA Sister Joan Kirby Temple of Understanding President, Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN Judith Mayer, Coordinator The Borneo Project, USA Rev. John Chamberlin, National Coordinator East Timor Religious Outreach, USA Sharon Silber & Eileen B. Weiss, Co-Founders Jews Against Genocide, USA Kirsten Moller, Executive Director Global Exchange, USA Elaine Donovan, co-founder Concerned Citizens for Peace, Hemlock, NY David Hartsough, Executive Director PEACEWORKERS, San Francisco, CA Bill Ramsey Human Rights Action Service, St. Louis, MO Vivek Ananthan, Center For Creative Activities, Philadelphia, PA Dr. Brad Simpson, Assistant Professor of History University of Maryland, Baltimore County Director, Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project, National Security Archive Carol Jahnkow, Executive Director Peace Resource Center of San Diego, CA Diana Bohn Nicaragua Center for Community Action (NICCA), Berkeley, CA Andy Mager, Staffperson Syracuse Peace Council, NY Roland Watson, Founder Dictator Watch Alan Muller, Executive Director Green Delaware Herbert Rothschild Jr., Coordinator Peace Action, Greater Houston Chapter Jeff Ballinger Press for Change Sr. Sheila Kinsey, OSF, Leader Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation Office Wheaton Franciscans, USA

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