East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal’s decolonization of the country. In the late 1975s, East Timor declared its independence. Later that year it was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and in 1976 was declared Indonesia’s 27th province. In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor eventually became a new sovereign state in 2002.

In May 2006 looters entered the Attorney General’s office, stealing computers containing important evidence of the crimes committed in 1999 by militias during the independence struggle.

ICBS Statement on East Timor,
6 June 2006

The International Committee of the Blue Shield sent the following statement on the situation in East Timor to

Mr David Veness, Under Secretary General Peace and Security, United Nations

and to Mr Sukehiro Hasegawa, Special Representative of the Secretary General, United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor

The letters express ICBS’s deep concern with the recent looting in East Timor resulting in the destruction of vital records and information.