New York, November 7, 2002—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) welcomes yesterday's indictment in East Timor of two suspected murderers of Dutch journalist Sander Thoenes, who was killed in Dili on September 21, 1999, while he was reporting for The Financial Times and The Christian Science Monitor. Arrest warrants for both men, who are Indonesian military officers, are expected to be forwarded to the attorney general of Indonesia and to Interpol, which East Timor joined in October.
Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply disturbed by the announcement last week that Indonesian officials are abandoning their investigation into the murder of Sander Thoenes, a Dutch journalist who was reporting for The Financial Times and The Christian Science Monitor when he was killed in East Timor in September 1999. Separate investigations conducted by the United Nations, Dutch authorities, and The Christian Science Monitor identified members of Indonesian army Battalion 745 as prime suspects in the murder.
One of Megawati's first acts in office was to appoint a state minister for communications and information, leading to fears that her government would eventually re-establish the notorious Information Ministry, which Wahid disbanded in 1999. For decades, former dictator President Suharto used the ministry to license and sanction the media, controls that were lifted after he was forced from office in 1998.
New York, December 12, 2001—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) welcomes yesterday's announcement that the killers of journalist Agus Muliawan were among those convicted of "crimes against humanity" in connection with the violence that surrounded East Timor's August 1999 vote for independence from Indonesia.
The Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the District Court in the East Timor capital, Dili, issued the verdicts on December 11. This landmark case marks the first successful prosecution for crimes against humanity in East Timor.
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