U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
March 11, 2010
During the year the government-supervised Film Censorship Institute (LSF) continued to censor domestic and imported movies for content deemed pornographic or religiously offensive. On December 1, the LSF banned the Australian movie Balibo. The movie depicts the killing of five journalists in East Timor by Indonesian soldiers. The TNI has consistently maintained that the journalists were killed in a cross fire with East Timor guerrilla fighters.
Protection of Refugees
There were varying estimates of the number of refugees and asylum seekers in the country. Through the end of September, the UNHCR recognized 529 refugees and 1,593 asylum seekers. The IOM estimated 1,014 refugees or asylum seekers. The government reported 1,642 refugees or asylum seekers. Some were applicants, and others were dependents. Most were from Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Burma.
The above figures did not include 10,436 former refugees from East Timor who resided in East Nusa Tengara (NTT) at the end of the year, according to the Center for Internally Displaced Peoples Service in West Timor. According to NGOs, there were approximately 20,000 ex-East Timorese refugees resettled in NTT, and 5,000 were still in temporary shelters.
In July 2008 the Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF), established by the governments of Indonesia and Timor-Leste in 2005 to address human rights violations committed in Timor-Leste in 1999, delivered its final report to the two governments' presidents. The report recognized that gross violations of human rights occurred prior to and immediately after the popular consultation in East Timor in 1999. The report's recommendations for Indonesia included a human rights training program with emphasis that the military remain neutral in political controversies and elections and enhanced authority for institutions charged with investigation and prosecutions for human rights violations. The government disseminated the CTF recommendations within the government, and a variety of ministries began carrying out the recommendations.
The Indonesian judicial processes either acquitted or eventually overturned all convictions of Indonesian defendants--two Indonesians of Timorese descent served some jail time for crimes in 1999--despite overwhelming evidence that Indonesian civilians and security forces committed gross human rights violations. An estimated 300 Indonesians indicted by Timor-Leste remained in Indonesia.
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