Blaming the victims: the 12 November 1991 massacre in Dili, East Timor, and the response of the Indonesian government

From 50 to 200 people were killed and many others wounded on the morning of 12 November 1991 when Indonesian Security forces fired automatic weapons for several minutes at a crowd of approximately 3000 people gathered at Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, East Timor.

Scores were severely beaten and stabbed during the attack. Those present had participated in a procession to the grave of Sebastio Games Range!, a young Timorese man killed on 28 October 1991 when security forces attacked the Motael parish church where he and a number of Timorese had taken refuge.

This report summarizes the testimony of eyewitnesses to the 12 November 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor, including witnesses living outside Indonesia interviewed by the ICJ, and film footage of the incident. (Despite two requests to the Indonesian authorities, the ICJ was not granted permission to enter East Timor in order to carry out an on-site visit or interview witnesses).

The report also reviews official accounts of the incident provided by the Indonesian authorities. It then analyzes the findings and methodology of the National Commission of Inquiry established by the Indonesian Government, which issued its Advance Report on 26 December 1991.

East Timor-blaming the victims-fact finding mission report-1992-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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