Joint Statement on the Release of Martenus Bere -- Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity in Timor-Leste
For the past ten years the disinterest of the international community and active efforts by Indonesia have blocked efforts to end impunity for serious crimes committed during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste. Ignoring the pleas of the East Timorese people, the Timor-Leste leadership continues to dismiss their calls for justice and an end to impunity.
We were deeply distressed by the 30 August speech of Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta and the actions of the governments of Indonesia and Timor-Leste which led to the release of indicted militia leader Martenus Bere. His extra-judicial release violated international law and treaties and undermined the rule of law and the Constitution of Timor-Leste.
We firmly disagree with President Ramos-Horta that the pursuit of justice is "simplistic."
We recognize that victims of human rights violations in Indonesia and Timor-Leste have much in common, including a desire to see those most responsible for their suffering brought to justice. We fully support the conclusions of the recently completed victims' congress in Dili and will work on joint campaigns against impunity and for reparations.
* We urge the international community and Indonesia to respond to the recommendations included in the CAVR report released by Timor-Leste's truth commission, including its call for an international tribunal.
* We urge the Indonesian government to fully implement the recommendations directed to it by the CAVR, starting with formally acknowledging receipt of its report and discussing it in the Indonesian Parliament.
* The Indonesian Government together with Timor-Leste should fully implement the recommendations of the Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF), especially the one calling for a Commission for Disappeared Persons to gather data and provide information.
Jakarta, 12 September 2009
Asmara Nababan -- Koordinator, KKPK (Indonesian Working Group on Truth Recovery)
Galuh Wandita -- ICTJ JKT (International Center for Transitional Justice)
Rafendi Djamin -- HRWG (Human Rights Working Group)
Usman Hamid -- KontraS (Commission on the Disappeared and Victims of Violence)
Miryam Nainggolan -- KKPK
Garda Sembiring -- PEC (People Empowerment Consortium)
Mugiyanto -- Ikohi (Indonesian Association of the Families of the Disappeared)
Hilmar Farid -- JKB (Network of Cultural Works)
Rusdi Marpaung -- Imparsial (Indonesian Human Rights Monitor)
Dedi Ali Ahmad -- PBHI Nasional (Indonesian Legal and Human Rights Association)
John M. Miller -- ETAN (East Timor and Indonesia Action Network)
During President Ramos-Horta's speech at the commemoration of the August 30 referendum, he said, "let's put the past behind. There will be no International Tribunal." Inexplicably, he continued that "I beg to disagree with their simplistic assertion that the absence of prosecutorial justice fosters impunity and violence." He also said "We will not replace the Indonesians in their own fight for democracy, human rights and justice."