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UN condemns ETimor militia leader's 'release'

The United Nations condemned Tuesday the reported release of an Indonesian former militia leader accused of taking part in a massacre of civilians in East Timor East Timor (tē`môr) or Timor-Leste (–lĕsht), Tetum Timor Lorosae, republic, officially Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (2002 est. pop.  in 1999.

"If the reports are true, his release is contrary to the Security Council resolutions which set up the UN Mission in (East Timor) and seriously undermines the global principle of accountability for crimes against humanity," Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokeswoman Marie Okabe said in a statement.

The UN said earlier this week that the suspect, Martenus Bere, had been released Sunday ahead of national celebrations commemorating 10 years since East Timor won independence from Indonesia in a UN-backed referendum.

The government has refused to confirm Bere's release.

Bere was detained de·tain  
tr.v. de·tained, de·tain·ing, de·tains
1. To keep from proceeding; delay or retard.

2. To keep in custody or temporary confinement:
 on August 8, five years after being indicted INDICTED, practice. When a man is accused by a bill of indictment preferred by a grand jury, he is said to be indicted.  for his role in the 1999 Suai Church massacre The Suai Church Massacre happened on September 6, 1999, two days after the announcement of the results of the independence referendum, in Suai, a city in the district of Cova-Lima in the southwestern part of East Timor. , in which up to 200 people were killed.

"The UN's firm position is that there can be no amnesty or impunity IMPUNITY. Not being punished for a crime or misdemeanor committed. The impunity of crimes is one of the most prolific sources whence they arise. lmpunitas continuum affectum tribuit delinquenti. 4 Co. 45, a; 5 Co. 109, a.  for serious crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide," Okabe said.

"In that context, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights strongly opposes the release of someone for whom an arrest warrant of this nature has been established."

East Timor's leadership has been criticised for opposing prosecution for those responsible for abuses during Indonesia's bloody 1975-1999 occupation of the half-island, which killed around 100,000 people.

President Jose Ramos-Horta says restoring good relations with Indonesia is more important than "prosecutorial pros·e·cu·to·ri·al  
adj.
Of, relating to, or concerned with prosecution: "a huge investigative and prosecutorial effort" Lucian K. Truscott IV. 
 justice", and has said he will not let his country be used as an "experiment" in international justice.

The opposition Fretilin party however says he is out of touch with the East Timorese people The following is a list of notable East Timorese people:
  • Marí Alkatiri
  • Fernando de Araújo
  • Martinho da Costa Lopes
  • Avelino Coelho
  • Tomé Diogo
  • Xanana Gusmão
  • Eurico Guterres
  • Francisco Guterres
  • José Ramos Horta
  • Anna Pessoa Pinto
, many of whom continue to demand justice for gross human rights abuses committed during the Indonesian occupation.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:291
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