The Suai Church Massacre happened on September 6, 1999, two days after the announcement of the results of the independence referendum, in Suai, a city in the district of Cova Lima in the southwestern part of East Timor. According to the report of the International Commission of Inquiry on East Timor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, several hundred persons had sought refuge in the Ave Maria church from attacks of the Laksaur militia (a pro-Indonesia militia) in the city. Then the militia, with the support of the military of Indonesia, killed up to 200 people. Twenty-six bodies were identified that had been buried across the border in West Timor, but eyewitnesses claim many more were killed.
Five Indonesian officials, Lieutenant Colonel Liliek Kusardiyanto, Captain Ahmad Syamsudin, Lieutenant Sugito, police officer Colonel Gatot Subiaktoro, and district head Herman Sedyono, were tried in Indonesia for these crimes but were acquitted. The UN named 16 men, including these five, in an indictment filed by the UN Serious Crimes Unit in Dili, accusing them of 27 counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, extermination, enforced disappearance, torture and deportations.
- ETAN (East Timor and Indonesia Action Network) page, including excerpts from the UN report and eyewitness accounts
- Human Rights Watch page discussing acquittal of the five implicated Indonesian officials
- Suai Church Massacre drawing by Suai youth & Photograph of Church
- Drawings of Massacre by Suai Youth 2000
- Short Documentary about Suai Church Massacre