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DATE=12/15/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=EAST TIMOR RIGHTS (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-257182 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A U-N Commission of Inquiry on East Timor says it has found clear evidence of military involvement in the violence that erupted after the August 30th pro- independence referendum. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the Commission has provided its initial findings to the top U-N human rights official, Mary Robinson. TEXT: The five-member Commission of Inquiry has just completed a series of meetings to review the material it gathered in East Timor. The panel of human rights experts recently spent nine-days in East Timor investigating allegations of human rights abuse. A U-N Official, Tom McCarthy, accompanied the group to East Timor. He calls the trip very intense. He says the five experts were in the capital, Dili, when U-N forces discovered the bodies of East Timorese who had been buried during the violence. He says the experts gathered evidence from more than 150-people during their visit. /// MC CARTHY ACT /// What people told them was certainly there was evidence of intimidation on a systematic basis. This included killings. But, it also included threats and burnings and that sort of thing. women, in some cases, were particularly targeted. /// END ACT /// Mr. McCarthy says the U-N experts saw for themselves the widespread destruction of property and interviewed many East Timorese who had been forced into exile by militiamen. He says witnesses spoke of the terror that caused them to flee. He says the Commission of Inquiry heard testimony of the destruction of evidence including removal of bodies from the site of killings. /// 2ND MC CARTHY ACT /// They came out with a very clear statement that there is evidence of involvement of some official military groups and army personnel, that is for sure. And they underline the individual East Timorese right to know what happened. And, to have an effective remedy for violations and to act against impunity. They call for the investigation process to continue. /// END ACT /// The Commission of Inquiry on East Timor has to submit a report of its findings to U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan by the end of the year. The report will then go on to the Security Council. The Commission says investigations into alleged atrocities should continue, and those responsible for crimes should be brought to justice. But the experts do not say whether they believe a war crimes tribunal, similar to those for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, should be established. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/GE/RAE 15-Dec-1999 12:50 PM EDT (15-Dec-1999 1750 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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