Timor-Leste

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Family at grave of Inacio Jose Manuel killed during occupation by Indonesian Troops © Dave11520

We monitor developments and support efforts to secure justice for the gross violations of human rights committed in Timor-Leste during the Indonesian occupation between 1975 and 1999.

TAPOL was one of the few international organisations in 1975 to warn of Indonesia’s impending aggression against the then-Portuguese colony of East Timor, and the bloodshed and terror that would ensue, which in the event resulted in up to 183,000 conflict-related deaths. We worked to keep the issue alive for many years when the international community had turned a blind eye to the appalling human rights situation in the territory, in particular through information published in the TAPOL Bulletin. TAPOL was a leading member of the international solidarity movement that played a key part in securing eventual self-determination for East Timor.

Following East Timor’s vote for independence in 1999, we campaigned vigorously with others for those responsible for serious crimes to be brought to justice, as yet to no avail. More than 300 Indonesian military personnel, officials and militia continue to enjoy impunity in Indonesia, with some of them playing prominent roles in public life at the highest level.