Ah o medo vai ter tudo
(Penso no que o medo vai ter
e tenho medo
que é justamente
o que o medo quer)
– Alexandre O’Neill,
do “Poema Pouco Original do Medo”
Why is it that, according to Amnesty, there is only one person still in prison of the 84 convicted of crimes against humanity in 1999?
It has been called “forgetting from above” in other countries – but in the case of East Timor, it is also “forgiving from above.” Last year, the President released nine militiamen, whose crimes included: chopping people to pieces in front of their families, torture, the premeditated murder of priests and nuns, and mass execution.
(I wrote about the pardon of Joni Marques and Tim Alfa, but three members of Oecusse’s Sakunar militia and two members of Laksaur militia also walked free last year.)
They were tried at great financial expense, and psychological cost to witnesses and family members. (And they were released, because as the current Prime Minister says, we are all “saints and sinners”.)
Why is that the Parliament has yet to discuss the Truth Commission report, or the Truth and Friendship Commission report? Why is it the major figures of Timor’s political elite favor a blanket amnesty for EVERYTHING that happened since 1975?
What do they have to fear?
Will “fear get everything”?
Quoting Alexandre O’Neill: “I think of how much fear will get / and I am fearful / and that’s exactly / what fear wants.”