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Restorative Justice or Impunity: The Choice for East Timor

Ruth-Heffelbower, Duane
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Paper. Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA. Downloaded 4 May 2004.

From his experience as Director of Peace Programs for Mennonite Central Committee Indonesia, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower reflects on the aftermath of the conflict involving Indonesia and East Timor. Some have called for an international tribunal to try those accused of crimes against humanity in Indonesia’s frustrated attempt to seize East Timor. Ruth-Heffelbower claims this shows once again the futility of retributive thinking. Examining the history and current state of things between Indonesia and East Timor, he argues that, if the only source of justice is through punishing the perpetrators, there will be no justice in East Timor. The alternative he advocates is the pursuit of reconciliation through restorative justice.


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