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Subject: AI UA 306/98 EAST TIMOR Fear for safety
Date: 08 Dec 98 17:30:24 -0500
From: UA E-Mail Incoming

Paper reprints authorised. Electronic redistributors + + must request permission from Amnesty International. + + Contact:

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/108/98 8 December 1998

UA 306/98 Fear for safety

EAST TIMOR 36 Families

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of thirty-six families who have been arbitrarily detained by the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) in Dotik village, Manufahi District, East Timor, for around the past two weeks.

The families are believed to have been taken into custody in an attempt by the military to force them to reveal the identities of others from the village and to force others to come forward who allegedly took part in a recent attack on a local military base on 9 November 1998.

Fears for the safety of the families have been heightened by news that 11 other people recently detained by the military in connection with the same events were severely tortured, including being beaten, burnt with cigarettes and sexually abused.

Access to the families is believed to be restricted. Other residents in the village are also reported to have had restrictions placed on their movements.


Serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment have recently been committed in East Timor by ABRI. This has been part of an intensive military operation by ABRI to find those responsible for recent attacks against them. One such attack, in October, took place at a political meeting in Manufahi District, south of the capital of East Timor, at which members of the armed resistance, the East Timorese National Liberation Army (Falintil), were present. It resulted in the killing of three Indonesian soldiers and a civilian. In November, a second incident occurred when a military command post in Alas was attacked, three soldiers were killed and 13 were taken captive (11 have since been released), and a large number of weapons were taken.

At least two men are known to have been killed by the military as a result of recent military activities. Other reports that up to 50 people may have been killed by ABRI have not been confirmed.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in Bahasa Indonesia or English or your own language:

- expressing concern for the safety of 36 families who are in the custody of the Indonesian Armed Forces and urging that they should not be ill-treated;

- asking the authorities to clarify the identities of all those detained and any charges against them;

- asking that they be released or promptly charged with a recognisably criminal offence;

- requesting that they be given access to independent legal council, medical professionals and other family members.

APPEALS TO: (Time difference = GMT + 7 hrs / BST + 6 hrs) (note, fax tones can difficult to obtain)

Commander Resort Military Command (KOREM) 164/Wiradharma (covers East Timor)

Colonel Tono Suratman [Salutation: Dear Colonel Suratman] Markas KOREM 164/Wiradharma Dili East Timor Indonesia Telegrams: Colonel Suratman, East Timor, Indonesia Faxes: + 62 390 21 624

PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: His Excellency Mr Rahardjo Jamtomo, Embassy of Indonesia, 38 Grosvenor Square, London W1X 9AD. Fax: 0171 491 4993


Minister Of Defence And Security

Gen. Wiranto Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.13-14 Jakarta 10110 Indonesia Faxes: + 62 21 381 4535.

Minister Of Foreign Affairs

Ali Alatas S.H. Menteri Luar Negeri Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No.6 Jakarta Indonesia Faxes: + 62 21 380 5511/ 345 7782/ 360 541/ 724 5354

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after 18 January 1999.

If you have any queries about this Urgent Action or about + + the UA scheme in general, please contact: + + Ray Mitchell / Becky Hess + + Amnesty International UK Section + + 99 - 119 Rosebery Avenue + + London EC1R 4RE email:

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