An international tribunal is required to bring justice to victims of the Santa Cruz massacre, says a rights group on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the atrocity committed in Timor Leste by Indonesia’s military.
“The victims of the Santa Cruz massacre have waited too long for justice,” said John M. Miller from the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), which was established after Indonesian troops killed 271 unarmed protestors in the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili on Nov. 12, 1991.
An equal number of protestors disappeared and are believed to be dead, said an ETAN statement.
“We believe that an international tribunal is needed to credibly try those responsible for the Santa Cruz massacre and other crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Indonesia during its illegal occupation of Timor-Leste,” Miller added.
The massacre was internationally condemned at the time and is considered a major turning point in Timor-Leste’s struggle for independence, which was gained in 2002.
ETAN says the Indonesian military killed an estimated 184,000 East Timorese during its 24-year long occupation.
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