Date: Thu, 24 Apr 97 21:04:12 CDT
From: rich@pencil (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Indonesia reject UN Human Rights Resolution
/** reg.easttimor: 499.0 **/
** Topic: Indonesia reject H Rts. Resolution **
** Written 3:30 AM Apr 23, 1997 by fbp in cdp:reg.easttimor **
Indonesia strongly rejects U.N. rights body motion

Indonesia strongly rejects U.N. rights body motion

Reuter. 21 April, 1997

JAKARTA, April 21 (Reuter) - Indonesia on Monday strongly rejected a U.N. Human Rights Commission resolution which expressed concern at reports of killings and torture in East Timor, invaded by Jakarta's troops in 1975.

The 53-member U.N. body said last week it was deeply concerned at continuing reports of violations including extra-judicial killings, disappearances, torture and arbitary detentions in East Timor.

Indonesia annexed the territory in 1976 in a move never recognised by the United Nations, which still considers former colonial ruler Portugal as the administering power.

"Indonesia's rejection of the (UNHCR) resolution was because it contains totally unfounded allegations and isrepresentations,'' a statement from the Indonesian foreign ministry said.

"The way in which the resolution was phrased was also against the principles of objectivity and non-selectivity in dealing with human rights issues, making it totally unacceptable,'' it added.

The resolution was the second on Indonesian human rights violations in East Timor since 1993. Last year, the UNHCR passed a less embarrassing chairman's statement at the annual forum.

This year's resolution was passed after intense lobbying in Geneva by East Timor independence activist and Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos Horta.

Before the vote, he presented a video to U.N. investigators, diplomats and others said to show the torture of East Timorese youths by Indonesian soldiers.

"During the past three years, chairman's statements were able to be negotiated and accepted by consensus on this issue by the commission,'' the Indonesian statement said.

It said Indonesia refused to agree to a chairman's statement this year as the commission had been influenced by Portugal.

"Indonesia also deeply regrets the persistence of Portugal, supported by the European Union, to force this resolution through at the commission's meeting as it would inevitably impact unfavourably on the current efforts by the secretary-general of the United Nations to recommence the Tripartite Dialogue on East Timor,'' the statement said.

Successive U.N. secretary-generals have sponsored talks between Indonesia and Portugal to reach an internationally acceptable solution for the future of East Timor for nearly 15 years without resolution.

But current Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a special envoy on East Timor to help speed the process. The envoy, Jamsheed Marker, has visited both Indonesia and Portugal and spent two days in East Timor last month.

John M. Miller
Media & Outreach Coordinator, East Timor Action Network
PO Box 150753, Brooklyn, NY 11215-0014 USA
Phone: (718)788-6071


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