< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Justice in East Timor

Friday, September 16, 2005

Justice in East Timor


From the Washignton Post, an article detailing how survivors of massacres in East Timor are struggling to get justice for those murdered. While the full article can be found by clicking here, part of the article reads as follows:
The survivors, who in some cases live near the people who burned their houses or carted away the bodies, hunger for justice: They want the killers charged and tried in an impartial court of law.
The families' insistence on prosecutions puts them at direct odds with their government, whose leaders, veterans of the 24-year struggle for independence from Indonesia, now want friendship with the former occupier. The two countries have created a Commission on Truth and Friendship, modeled after South Africa's post-apartheid panel. The commission's aim is to establish the "conclusive truth" about the crimes up to and after the August 1999 vote; its work will not lead to prosecutions.
The 10-member panel, formed in August with a one-year term, has the power to recommend amnesty for people who fully explain their crimes, apologize and show remorse. It contains no provision for criminal proceedings or compensation. The lack of prosecution, critics warn, is a recipe for impunity.



--Tom Hayes

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