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East Timor Truth Commission Will Look Into 1974-99 Atrocities

January 22, 2002|Associated Press

DILI, East Timor — East Timor launched a truth commission Monday to heal deep rifts after 25 years of political unrest that left thousands dead.

The Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission will focus on atrocities committed between 1974 and 1999.

About 200,000 East Timorese are estimated to have died in that period in fighting between rival political parties in the mid-1970s and then during Indonesia's occupation.

East Timor's commission will not have the power to grant amnesty to people testifying.

The commission "will provide the East Timorese people with an official ear to listen to their grievances and acknowledge their past suffering," said Sergio Vieira de Mello, the U.N. administrator in East Timor.

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