Recommendations

Human Rights Watch calls on the Indonesian government and the guerrillas of Forcas Armadas de Libertacao Nacional de Timor Leste (Falintil, the Armed Forces for the National Liberation of East Timor) to respect human rights and humanitarian law.

Specifically, the Indonesian government could:
demonstrate a commitment to curbing the practices of torture and arbitrary detention respectively by inviting the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit East Timor and make recommendations designed to eliminate these abuses.

cease the provision of military and paramilitary training for "pro-integration" youth groups and investigate charges that these allegedly civilian groups have participated in military operations in East Timor with regular and special forces.

set up a central register of detainees in East Timor and require all members of the military, including police (a branch of the armed forces in Indonesia) to report immediately names of those arrested so that family members can know immediately who is detained and where.

issue clear instructions, to be published in the newspaper Suara Timor Timur (Voice of East Timor) and other public places, that members of the security forces, including police, army, and various paramilitary groups, are explicitly banned from using any form of torture, including electric shocks, beatings, and submersion in water, at all times. The government should cooperate with local human rights organizations like the Commission on Justice and Peace to set up a mechanism by which torture victims could report to the commission with confidence that their reports would be fully investigated, that they themselves would suffer no reprisals, and that the torturers would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

ratify the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Human Rights Watch also calls on Falintil to:
announce their full adherence to the principles of humanitarian law, particularly Common Article 3.

announce an immediate cessation of the practice of executing civilian Timorese suspected of being informers or collaborators.

The international community should:
ensure that no arms or military equipment that can be or have been used in the commission of human rights abuses in East Timor should be sold or provided to the Indonesian government.

request full transparency from the Indonesian armed forces on the number of security forces stationed in East Timor, including rotating battalions, special forces, counterinsurgency units, paramilitary groups, police, and intelligence units, and engage the Indonesian government in discussions on how to reduce that number.

ensure that any training programs for the Indonesian military include a human rights component to be developed in consultation with experienced Indonesian human rights NGOs, and that it include a mechanism for making the military careers of the participants a matter of public record in Indonesia as well as in the country offering the assistance and for tracking their careers for a five-year period after the training concludes. An evaluation of the human rights record of the participants should then be conducted, with that record again to be made publicly available, both in Indonesia and in the country offering the training.

ensure that bilateral aid and investment programs for East Timor are undertaken in consultation with Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo and representatives of the Catholic church in the area where the project is to be implemented.


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