Thursday, February 21, 2008

Report on the Commission of Truth and Friendship

ICTJ recently released the publication of “Too Much Friendship, Too Little Truth: Monitoring Report on the Commission of Truth and Friendship in Indonesia and Timor-Leste”. The report focuses on the Commission of Truth and Friendship.

The report reveals according to ICTJ:

  • The CTF was created not with truth-telling and interpersonal reconciliation in mind, but as a means to ignore calls for international criminal justice already made by the UN and the international community.
  • The process for creating the Commission was insufficiently transparent and consultative, resulting in a body that has failed to reflect international best practices and the views of Timorese victims and communities.
  • The CTF’s Terms of Reference are fundamentally flawed, and included a mechanism for recommendations of amnesty while prohibiting recommendations for new judicial processes;
  • The Commission’s public hearings failed as a truth-telling activity. Most took place in Indonesia and gave accused perpetrators of serious crimes in Timor-Leste opportunities to provide self-serving accounts that charged the UN with responsibility for the mass violations and promoted factually incorrect versions of events. The UN Secretary General made a decision not to cooperate with the Commission due to its flawed mandate, so UN personnel were not able to respond to the serious allegations made against themselves and the organization in the public hearings.

The ICTJ adds thar "the Commission’s final report will be the final opportunity for the Commission to achieve some level of international credibility, which has been seriously compromised. This can only be achieved if the report places the principles of truth and justice ahead of the political factors which have marred the process to date". To download the publication click here.