The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

DATE=9/23/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=EAST TIMOR / HUMAN RIGHTS (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-254259 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The United Nation's top human rights official, Mary Robinson, has called for the establishment of an international Commission of Inquiry to prosecute those accused of human rights violations in East Timor. In opening a special session of the U-N Human Rights Commission, Ms. Robinson denounced what she said were massacres, forced deportations and destruction of property after residents of East Timor voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Indonesia. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports this is only the fourth time that the Commission has met in emergency session in its 53-year history. TEXT: Human rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson, spoke about a total breakdown of law and order in East Timor. She accused militia members of terrorizing and murdering unarmed civilians, burning houses and displacing large numbers of people. She said the militia intimidated, threatened and attacked international workers. And that these acts frequently occurred in full view of heavily-armed police or Indonesian soldiers who either stood by and watched, or actively joined in with militias. Ms. Robinson said human rights abuses must not go unpunished. ///ROBINSON ACT/// There is overwhelming evidence that East Timor has seen a deliberate, vicious and systematic campaign of gross violations of human rights. An international commission of inquiry into the violations must be established so that those responsible are brought to justice. ///END ACT/// Diplomats here say the European Union has drafted a resolution calling on U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set up a commission to investigate alleged atrocities in East Timor. The diplomats say this could eventually lead to the creation of an international war crimes tribunal. Several Asian representatives tried to halt debate at the Human Rights Commission through a procedural maneuver. Denis Lepatan, Philippines ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, spoke on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - ASEAN. He said the Government of Indonesia was upholding its responsibility to maintain security, law and order in the territory. ///LEPATAN ACT/// We feel that the manner in which this special (meeting) was convened leaves much to be desired in terms of objectivity, transparency and accountability. Indeed, given the fast evolving situation on the ground, it may prove to be counter productive to the aims which it seeks to serve. ///END ACT/// The Indonesian Ambassador (to the United Nations in Geneva), Hassan Weraguda, agreed with his colleague. He called the convening of this meeting legally and procedurally defective. ///WERADUGA ACT/// Furthermore, my delegation would like to register its strong reservations as to the validity of this meeting and the manner in which the process was handled. We very much hope that the notion of impartiality, transparency and objectivity as well as the strict observance of the rules of procedure will be upheld....and in the future. ///END ACT/// In spite of his critical statement, the Indonesian ambassador added that his government would cooperate with the United Nations in dealing with the issue of East Timor. (Signed) NEB/LS/GE/JP 23-Sep-1999 12:37 PM EDT (23-Sep-1999 1637 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list