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Indonesia official rebukes UN SG on East Timor-Indonesia truth commission

[JURIST] Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda Tuesday rebuked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] for criticizing the East Timorese-Indonesian Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) [official website]. Ban said last week that the commission violates international humanitarian standards [JURIST report] because it allows for the possibility of amnesty for perpetrators of crimes against humanity. Wirajuda said that the government of East-Timor voluntarily agreed to the commission to resolve past disputes without injuring long-term relations with Indonesia. He further stressed that the commission is designed to aid in reconciliation, not the process of prosecution, and said that the UN has not offered an alternative.

The East-Timorese government has rejected the establishment of an international tribunal to try those responsible for human rights abuses committed in 1999 following a UN-sponsored referendum in which East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia. Ban has indicated that UN officials will not testify [press release] before the commission and that the UN "would not support the work of the CTF and thereby further the possible grant of amnesties." The CTF, established [terms of reference] in 2005 by the East-Timorese and Indonesian governments, is tasked with reviewing alleged human rights abuses, but does not have independent authority to prosecute suspects. Kyodo News has more.

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