Indonesia: HC's letter to President
High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers has sent a letter to President Wahid of Indonesia expressing his deep shock and disappointment with the light sentences handed down by a Jakarta court last week to six men accused of involvement in the brutal killing of three UNHCR staff members last September in West Timor. Noting that that the three victims were killed while trying to assist the Indonesian government in coping with the refugee crisis in West Timor, Mr. Lubbers said the sentences amount to a failure of justice and are an affront to the deceased, their families, UNHCR and the UN system. The rulings also create a dangerous enviroment of impunity for humanitarian workers. The High Commissioner also noted in his 9 May letter that there are those in the Indonesian government who are committed to ending the climate of insecurity and intimidation in West Timor and urged President Wahid to see that justice is done. Mr. Lubbers was informed by Indonesian authorities that an appeal will be made. UNHCR's position is that those responsible for these brutal killings must receive sentences proportionate to the crime.