|Congress Bars Use of U.S. Weapons in East Timor
Indonesian Military Training Continues Despite Ban
Constâncio Pinto Joins ETAN Staff
APECT III Meets in Bangkok
ETAN Hosts Activist Training Conferences
José Ramos-Horta Inspires St. Louis Activists
Massachusetts East Timor Bill Update
Indonesia - On the verge of change?
Postcard from Timor
Review- Womens Rights in East Timor
U.S. Should Help East Timor
Youth Resistance in East Timor
|ACTION ALERT UPDATE:
Torture and Fear of Torture Actualized
By Charles Scheiner
Many hundreds of East Timorese people have been arbitrarily arrested, disappeared, or killed by the Indonesian military over the past year, as documented in the 1997 "Annual Report of Human Rights Violations" just published by the East Timor Human Rights Center (available from ETAN for $5).
But rather than cite cold statistics, I thought it better to update Estafeta readers on two specific cases that we described in our last two issues: João Guterres and José Antonio Belo. Both are men in their 20s who were arrested in separate incidents in East Timor in May and June 1997. There have been no charges brought against them, neither has had legal counsel, and neither has been seen since by anyone other than their captors, including the International Committee of the Red Cross. Belos case was most recently highlighted as "fear of torture" by Amnesty International in an alert distributed on March 19, 1998 (case 189/97), along with four men arrested with him (Guilherme dos Santos, Manuel, Cesario or Mario da Costa and Gil da Costa).
When our delegation was in Indonesia and East Timor in early March, we inquired about Belo and Guterres through indirect but reliable, confidential channels. The first reply, "theyre both alive," was only slightly reassuring. Further explorations indicated that both were in very bad shape, still held inside East Timor by Indonesian military forces. (Amnesty believes that Belo is in Baucau.) Both have apparently been subjected to extensive torture and prevented from having any contact with the outside world.
José and João are still alive only because the Indonesian army knows that concerned people around the world know that their lives are in ABRIs hands. To keep them alive and to end the torture we need to communicate our concerns more strongly.
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