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Subject: ETHRC UA 16/98 Ill-treatment of political prisoners
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 14:48:15 -1000
From: ethrc <ethrc@minihub.org>

EAST TIMOR HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE 124 Napier St Fitzroy 3065 Australia PO BOX 1413 Collingwood 3066 Australia Tel: +61 3 9415 8225 Fax: +61 3 9415 8218 E-mail: ethrc@minihub.org Director: Ms Maria Brett Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin

URGENT ACTION 11 November 1998

NAMES: 26 East Timorese political prisoners

VIOLATIONS: Ill-treatment / Fear of torture

LOCATION: Dili, East Timor

Ref: UA 16/98

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) is concerned for the safety of 26 East Timorese political prisoners who have been transferred from Becora prison in Dili, to a military prison in Balide, Dili.

The transferred prisoners have been identified as follows:

Adelio de Fatima Barreto H Agostino Moreira Agostino Vital Alberto Ximenes Bernardo da Silva Carlos Freitas Constancio C Santos Domingos Pereira Eduardo dos Santos Eusebio Ximenes Floriano da Costa Xavier Joao Alves Trindade Joao dos Reis Joaquim de Carvalho de Araujo Jose Soares Menezes Lamberto Freitas Lino Xavier Nunes Luis Antonio Soares Manuel (no surname) Manuel Moniz Mariano da Costa Sarmento Matias Marcal Soares Pedro Freitas Romeo da Conceicao Salvador da Silva Venancio (no surname)

The 26 prisoners were rounded up by the Indonesian military at midnight on 30 October 1998 and it is believed they were subjected to violent beatings, hit with gun butts and thrown into the waiting military vehicles. They arrived at the Balide military prison at 4.00am the following morning.

It is believed the prisoners were transferred to the Balide military prison because they had openly expressed their political views. ETHRC sources reported that Indonesian authorities said the 26 prisoners had disturbed other prisoners by shouting slogans such as "Viva Xanana" and "Viva Independence". It is believed the prisoners had also participated in a hunger strike which was undertaken in late August to support calls for the release of Xanana Gusmao, the jailed leader of the East Timorese resistance.

The prisoners' families and legal representatives became aware of the move the day after the prisoners were transferred and have since been allowed to visit them. However, the ETHRC remains concerned for the prisoners' safety as prisoners in military detention are routinely subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

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

* expressing concern that the 26 political prisoners were subjected to ill-treatment during their transfer to the Balide military prison; * seeking assurances that they will not face torture and further ill-treatment at the Balide military prison and that they will be treated humanely in accordance with international standards; and * seeking assurances that they will have continuing access to members of their family, humanitarian assistance and legal representation.

SEND APPEALS TO:

1. PRESIDENT YUSUF HABIBIE President of the Republic of Indonesia Istana Negara Gedung Binagraha Jl. Veteran Jakarta Pusat INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 345 7782 Telegrams: President Habibie, Jakarta, Indonesia E-mail: habibie@ristek.go.id

2. MINISTER PROF. DR. MULADI, SH Minister of Justice Menteri Kehakiman Jl H.R. Rasuna Said Blok X VI Kav. 4-5 Kuningan Jakarta Selatan INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 525 3095 Telegrams: Justice Minister Muladi, Jakarta, Indonesia

3. MILITARY COMMANDER REGION IX/UDAYANA (includes East Timor) General Syahrir MS Pangdam IX/Udayana Markas Besar KODAM IX/Udayana Denpasar, Bali INDONESIA Telephone: +62 361 228 095 Telegrams: Pangdam IX/Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

ALSO SEND COPIES TO:

4. MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Ali Alatas S.H Menteri Luar Negeri Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No. 6 Jakarta INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 360 541 / 360 517 / 380 5511 / 345 7782 / 724 5354

Please also send appeals to:

* Diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country * Parliamentarians and the Foreign Ministry in your country

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY Check with the East Timor Human Rights Centre if sending appeals after 23 December 1998

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