Timor-Leste National alliance for an International Tribunal
In three days time, the Timorese people will celebrate the anniversary of the restoration of our independence. Though we have been happily celebrating the day with festivities for nine years, a portion of the population is sad on this commemorative day because of wounds that have not healed and still inflict pain. These wounds will not heal while those responsible for them remain free from judicial accountability.
How can we imagine this situation continuing? Some people are happy while others remain sad, but can we call this a victory for all of us? While some people are smiling and content, others are crying and spilling their tears. Can we continue to claim we have achieved harmony and peace? How can we assure an end to impunity when the perpetrators of Serious Crimes in Timor-Leste from 1999 remain free and face no consequences? Why do we pour energy and effort into the courts when the courts themselves have no teeth to bite those who committed Crimes Against Humanity?
We ask you all to consider that the demand for justice for Serious Crimes is not just necessary for the Timorese people, it is not for a movement or a group, but it is the responsibility of everyone in this country, of the international community, and particularly of the United Nations. We are conscious that the demand for justice is not just for Timorese people, but is necessary to prevent future Crimes Against Humanity and human rights violations in other countries. For this reason we firmly insist that the time has come to end the chain of impunity for Timor-Leste and for the people in other countries.
Coming out of a three day strategic planning meeting of the National Alliance for an International Tribunal (ANTI), held 29-31 March at Ismaik in Dare with more than fifty participants, including students, representatives of victims and victims’ families, national and international nongovernmental organizations, and international solidarity activists, ANTI requests:
1. That the United Nations stop believing that Indonesia and Timor-Leste will prosecute the cases of Serious Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity committed from 1975-1999, and find an alternative such as the Special Panels to prosecute the criminal perpetrators.
2. All the Embassies and Consulates in Timor-Leste report to your States that the question of justice for Serious Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity from 1975-1999 remain a major concern for the people of Timor-Leste. Thus, we sincerely appeal to you to take action on the question of justice for Serious Crimes as a moral and formal responsibility of your State and society.
3. That the international organizations and institutions supporting Timor-Leste’s development address justice issues related to Serious Crimes as a key concern for development and a necessity to assure democracy and the rule of law.
4. That the National Parliament give significant importance and priority to discussing the establishment of an institution to implement the Chega Report, in order to prevent polemics and incongruity among our leaders due to personal opinions that might prejudice the voice of victims who truly want truth and justice for the Serious Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity they suffered.
We believe that the Timorese people, and all of us, still hope that peace and friendship will be realized once justice is achieved for the Serious Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity committed in Timor-Leste from 1975-1999, once the perpetrators are fairly prosecuted and there is accountability.
Justice for the Timorese People,
Justice for all people of all nations in the world.
Dili, 17 May 2010