Church agency condemns Indonesian human rights decision - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
September 14, 2005

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Church agency condemns Indonesian human rights decision

-14/09/05

The UK-based Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) has denounced last weekís ruling by an Indonesian Human Rights Court that ended up acquitting two senior police officers accused of serious human rights violations.

The two officers were involved in a police operation on 7 December 2000 that resulted in the killing of three students and the torture of more than 100 other people, in Abepura, Papua, the Western-most province of Indonesia.

According to Theo van den Broek, CIIR country representative for East Timor: ìThe ruling is further proof that the Indonesian government is neither willing nor able to bring human rights abusers in the Indonesian security forces to book.î

He added: ìIt shows that Indonesia's promises to the international community to try those responsible for human rights violations cannot be trusted and that the practice of impunity is alive and well.î

Campaigners say the ruling in the Abepura case casts further doubt on the prospects for justice for victims of rights violations in East Timor, the now-independent nation that Indonesia occupied for 25 years until 1999.

CIIR and other agencies believe that the international community is increasingly willing to turn a blind eye to attempts by the Indonesian government to avert legal process and secure impunity for those responsible for war crimes there.

Global attention seems mostly to be fixed instead on the measures and related initiatives the government is willing to take in the US-led ëwar on terrorí.

In a report completed on 26 May 2005, the independent Commission of Experts, mandated by the United Nations, made recommendations to address the poor progress on the issue of rights violations in East Timor.

These included recommending that the UN ensure that the investigation into, and prosecution of, serious crimes in East Timor should maintain an independent and international component, as local resources are insufficient.

It also said that the UN should establish mechanisms to allow the East Timorese government to retain sovereignty over the justice process, facilitate capacity building of the judiciary and provide opportunities for the international community to help address human rights issues.

Observers believe that these recommendations offer the best hope of delivering the genuine justice that the victims of human rights violations deserve and that international law demands. Yet the UN Security Council has not yet considered the report in detail.

The Catholic Institute for International Relations, along with churches and other civil society groups in East Timor, is now urging the UN Security Council to endorse the commission's recommendations.

[With grateful acknowledgement to Independent Catholic News]

Find books now:

Church agency condemns Indonesian human rights decision

-14/09/05

The UK-based Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) has denounced last week's ruling by an Indonesian Human Rights Court that ended up acquitting two senior police officers accused of serious human rights violations.

The two officers were involved in a police operation on 7 December 2000 that resulted in the killing of three students and the torture of more than 100 other people, in Abepura, Papua, the Western-most province of Indonesia.

According to Theo van den Broek, CIIR country representative for East Timor: 'The ruling is further proof that the Indonesian government is neither willing nor able to bring human rights abusers in the Indonesian security forces to book.'

He added: 'It shows that Indonesia's promises to the international community to try those responsible for human rights violations cannot be trusted and that the practice of impunity is alive and well.'

Campaigners say the ruling in the Abepura case casts further doubt on the prospects for justice for victims of rights violations in East Timor, the now-independent nation that Indonesia occupied for 25 years until 1999.

CIIR and other agencies believe that the international community is increasingly willing to turn a blind eye to attempts by the Indonesian government to avert legal process and secure impunity for those responsible for war crimes there.

Global attention seems mostly to be fixed instead on the measures and related initiatives the government is willing to take in the US-led ëwar on terror'.

In a report completed on 26 May 2005, the independent Commission of Experts, mandated by the United Nations, made recommendations to address the poor progress on the issue of rights violations in East Timor.

These included recommending that the UN ensure that the investigation into, and prosecution of, serious crimes in East Timor should maintain an independent and international component, as local resources are insufficient.

It also said that the UN should establish mechanisms to allow the East Timorese government to retain sovereignty over the justice process, facilitate capacity building of the judiciary and provide opportunities for the international community to help address human rights issues.

Observers believe that these recommendations offer the best hope of delivering the genuine justice that the victims of human rights violations deserve and that international law demands. Yet the UN Security Council has not yet considered the report in detail.

The Catholic Institute for International Relations, along with churches and other civil society groups in East Timor, is now urging the UN Security Council to endorse the commission's recommendations.

[With grateful acknowledgement to Independent Catholic News]

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