Vote for FRETILIN!
2007 Parliamentary Elections
"Defending Timor-Leste's independence"
20 June 2007
FRETILIN urges support for President's stand on justice
FRETILIN today expressed support for President José Ramos Horta's
publicly stated position that amnesties should not be granted "for
serious crimes or crimes against humanity" because it "would be
inconsistent with international law".
As the majority party in Timor Leste (East Timor), FRETILIN called on
all parties to express their support for President Ramos Horta's
statements quoted in an AAP report of 15 June 2007.
FRETILIN parliamentary candidate Aniceto Guterres said today: "Like
President Ramos Horta, FRETILIN believes the search for justice should
begin with thorough investigations into crimes which lead to
prosecutions, trials and sentencing. This is because respect for human
rights and the rule of law is of utmost importance for our emerging
democracy. Little countries like ours have always had faith in the
international rule of law as the only safeguard for the small nations.
"FRETILIN is the only political institution that has consistently
defended the right to justice for the victims of human rights abuses
"It was FRETILIN who insisted that the legislation creating the
Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the
Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF) not include amnesties or
immunities for people who committed serious crimes between 1975 and
1999. We were acting in keeping with our commitment to the principles
of international rule of law. We resisted pressures by some political
leaders, including some who are contesting these elections to ensure
that justice and the rule of law was preserved."
Guterres added: "The granting of amnesty should not be a pre-condition
for cooperating with investigations. Amnesty is just a tool to be used
in appropriate circumstances, say for example, where it can lead to
the uncovering of the truth which is also essential to achieving
justice and reconciliation."
Guterres said that CAVR and CTF are only the beginning of the search
for justice. FRETILIN will place high priority to and promptly
initiate formal debate on the recommendations from the Final Report of
the CAVR ("CHEGA!").
He said: "The pursuit of justice is essential for this nation because
even the crimes of 1999 have not been resolved satisfactorily. This
has meant that people involved with the pro-autonomy militia now hold
senior positions in some political parties or are candidates for the
upcoming parliamentary elections. This means they could be elected to
National Parliament, the supreme law making body of Timor-Leste.
Voters must know where all parties stand on this issue.
"I challenge the other political parties to clearly state their
position on this issue, as we have done. We have received some
criticism but we have received much more support for our stand. It is
the right thing to do and we will keep doing it."
Regarding Timor-Leste's relationship with Indonesia, Guterres said:
"It is important to promote good relationships with our neighbours.
This is something the FRETILIN government has always done. We will
always place paramount importance on promoting good relations with the
Indonesian state and people. However, this should not result in our
nation doing things which result in justice not being pursued or the
process of reconciliation between our nations neglected.
"When FRETILIN speaks about justice we are not talking about simple
words or theories. We are committed to the process of justice, truth
and healing which will lead to true reconciliation for the people of
Timor-Leste who are an inspiring and proud people and who deserve the
dignity of due process and the rule of law.
"We very much welcome the President's recent statements of support for
the primacy of justice and the rule of law in accordance with
international law in relation to serious crimes or crimes against
For more information, please contact:
José Teixeira (+670) 728 7080