The Visit of the UNWGEID to Tomor-Leste as a Momentum for Accountability
Joint Press Release
The Visit of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance to Timor-Leste as A Momentum for the Accountability of Enforced Disappearance in Timor-Leste and Indonesia
The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) together with the Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared (IKOHI) kindly welcome and support the visit of the Chair-Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances/UNWGEID, Jeremy Sarkin and one of the expert members, Jasminka Dzumhur, to Timor-Leste on 7-14 February.
Politically, we see this visit as a serious step of the United Nations (UN) to encourage the completion of enforced disappearance cases took place in the then East Timor during the Indonesian occupation. We view the enforced disappearance in Timor-Leste and Indonesia as inseparable, that both were committed by the same authoritarian regime of New Order Indonesia.
Morally, this visit is an acknowledgement and support of the United Nations to the victims and families of the victims of enforced disappearance either in Timor-Leste and Indonesia who have been indefatigably searching for truth and justice, considering that to date denial on rights of victims of enforced disappearance continues.
The Commission of Truth and Friendship (KKP) established by the Indonesian and Timor-Leste government had recommended in 2008 the establishment of a Commission for the Disappeared, however until recently the commission is not yet established. The recommendation specifically demanded the Indonesian and Timor-Leste government to collaboratively establish a Commission for the Disappeared in an effort to find out whereabouts of those disappeared, and provide information for the victims’ families. The Commission was also mandated to investigate East Timorese children who have been separated from their families.
We hope the outcomes of the official mission of the UN Working Group to Timor-Leste become momentum for the UN to urge the Timor-Leste government and indirectly Indonesian’s to immediately establish a Commission for the Disappeared as recommended by KKP.
We also hope this mission becomes a reminder for President Ramos Horta to ratify the Convention of Anti Forced Disappearance as he promised to delegation of AFAD and FEDEFAM in a meeting in Presidential Palace in Dili in late 2009.
From Indonesia view point, this visit must serve as an encouragement for the Government of Indonesia to follow up the four recommendations of the House of Representatives (DPR) regarding the 1997/1998 forced disappearance cases, namely: establishment of ad hoc Human Rights court, search of 13 disappeared victims, rehabilitation and compensation for the victims’ families, and ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
We also hope that the mission of the Working Group to Timor Leste be the consideration for the Government of Indonesia to invite the Working Group to Indonesia in the near future, considering that almost every year the visit request has been submitted to the Government of Indonesia.
Jakarta, 14 February 2010
Mugiyanto Haris Azhar
Chairperson of IKOHI Coordinator of Kontras