Timor-Leste

Report on rights violations in East Timor delivered to Secretary-General

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The report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in East Timor was delivered to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday, his spokesman said today in New York.
Spokesman Fred Eckhard said the report was now being studied by United Nations Secretariat officials and will be made available to the Security Council, General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights at its next session.

The Inquiry, led by Sonia Picardo of Costa Rica, was established by a resolution of the Commission on Human Rights at a special session last September. Its report is intended to enable Mr. Annan to make recommendations for future action, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) reported today that a large number of people were leaving camps in West Timor's provincial capital, Kupang, and registering to return to East Timor.

The "waning power of the militias" and the agency's own publicity campaign are encouraging the higher number of returns, a UNHCR spokesman said in Geneva.

On Saturday, 462 people had returned to the East Timor capital, Dili, by ship and a similar number were expected this week.

In other developments, UN civilian police and INTERFET investigators continued to exhume and identify the suspected victims of massacres in East Timor, according to UNHCR. Six bodies were exhumed at a coastal site some 25 km west of Dili today, and work is to resume on Wednesday at a site believed to contain the victims of an attack in Dili which occurred last April.