[TimorLesteStudies] UNMIT Third Human Rights report now available on line

Bu V.E. Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Thu Sep 17 07:01:34 EST 2009


Executive Summary
 1. Launched ten years after the popular
 consultation that paved the way for Timor-
 Leste’s independence, this report focuses on
 one of the five thematic priorities for the Office
 of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
 (OHCHR) and the human rights component of
 the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-
 Leste (UNMIT), that of promoting accountability
 and combating impunityi. In interactions with
 victims and their families in all parts of Timor-
 Leste, the Human Rights and Transitional Justice
 Section (HRTJS) is invariably met with calls for
 justice for human rights violations committed
 during the Indonesian occupation (1975–1999),
 the 2006 crisis, the 2008 State of Siege, and
 for current human rights violations. While some
 positive steps have been taken to address past
 and present violations, including through legal
 and truth-seeking processes, much remains to
 be done.
 2. An effective justice sector that delivers
 decisions in a fair and transparent manner, based
 on the rule of law, is central to ending impunity.
 In the period covered in this report, some
 improvements took place in the justice sector.
 Timorese court actors are increasingly deployed
 to the districts, where courts conduct regular
 hearings. However, further steps are needed
 to strengthen the system. This is particularly
 essential if the national justice system is to
 respond to complex cases of human rights
 violations, including cases of crimes against
 humanity, in an effective and credible manner.
 3. There was a gradual decrease in reports of
 human rights violations by members of the police
 and military. However, UNMIT continued to receive
 allegations of human rights violations, including
 excessive use of force. As the PNTL resumes
 authority from UNMIT Police, it is essential that it
 develops into a police force based on the rule of
 law, in which effective mechanisms are in place
 to address excesses by its members. The clear
 delineation of roles between the military and
 police is also a critical concern.
 4. Important steps have been taken towards
 addressing human rights violations that occurred
 in the past, but the process remains incomplete.
 The Commission for Truth, Reception and
 Reconciliation (CAVR) and the Commission for
 Truth and Friendship (CTF) have both completed
 reports that contain recommendations which, if
 fully implemented, will constitute a significant
 step towards addressing the past, including
 through provision of reparations to victims
 and memorialisation. Efforts to bring to justice
 individuals who committed crimes and human
 rights violations in the context of the 2006 crisis,
 and in 1999, are also continuing, though the
 majority of the perpetrators have not yet faced

Bu V.E. Wilson
Centre for International Governance and Justice
Regulatory Institutions Network
Australian National University
+61 407 087 086

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