[TimorLesteStudies] Response from Charlie Scheiner: Re: Last gasp for justice in Timor?

Bu V. E. Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Wed Oct 29 17:18:27 EST 2008

Hi, Susan,

While I share your view that justice is essential 
here, I don't think it's appropriate to deem 
tomorrow's Parliamentary hearing the "last gasp." 
Experiences in Cambodia, Argentina, Peru and 
elsewhere demonstrate the wheels of justice may 
sometimes turn slowly or stall, but the machine 
can eventually reach its goal if people keep 
pushing.  As in the decades-long U.S. civil 
rights movement in the USA, we all have to "keep 
your eyes on the prize, hold on!"

The mandates of CAVR and CTF, and hence their 
recommendations, are a subset of what is needed 
for meaningful justice for 24 years of 
international crimes against humanity committed 
here.  Many victims around Timor-Leste have not 
had their thirst for effective justice be watered 
down by diplomatic and political compromises.  We 
who are outside the system should continue to 
amplify their voices and echo their demands, and 
not be sidetracked by the limitations of Commission scope or governmental will.

In May 2005, the UN Commission of Experts tasked 
with evaluating justice mechanisms in TL 
recommended that the Indonesian government be 
given six months to show it was serious about 
prosecuting high-level perpetrators. Should 
Indonesia fail to act, the COE urged the Security 
Council to consider establishing an international 
criminal tribunal.  Nothing has changed since then.

A luta continua,
Charlie Scheiner, La'o Hamutuk and ETAN
Charles Scheiner
La'o Hamutuk (The Timor-Leste Institute for 
Development Monitoring and Analysis)
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Telephone:  +670-3325013 or +670-734-0965 mobile
email: cscheiner at igc.org    website: 
http://www.laohamutuk.org    skype: cscheiner

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