Subject: AFP: Nephew of David Alex claims he's alive
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 09:58:13 +0000
From: "East Timor International Support Center" <etio@ozemail.com.au> Organization: East Timor International Support Center

Nephew of "dead" East Timorese rebel claims he is alive Sun 20 Sep 98 - 11:09 GMT

DILI, East Timor, Sept 20 (AFP) - The nephew of an independence rebel leader has charged the Indonesian military were holding the former Fretelin commander and demanded his release, a copy of a statement said here Sunday.

The nephew of David Alex, claimed he was not shot dead and buried as claimed by the Indonesian armed forces in March, 1997, according to a letter dated Thursday and addressed to Indonesian armed forces chief General Wiranto.

"In such an era of reform, the military should be brave and come forward and release David Alex ... if not they should show us his dead body," said the letter, a copy of which was sent to the Voices of East Timor (STT) newspaper.

The suspicion Alex was still alive was aired only after the resignation of president Suharto on May 21 who passed the presidency to his then deputy B.J. Habibie.

The letter, signed by Alex's nephew, Manuel Mira, said there were inconsistencies in the acccounts of the "death" of his uncle, and the family's suspicions rose because of the lack of involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the burial. Copies of the letter were also sent to Amnesty International, the ICRC and to the Roman Catholic church in East Timor.

East Timor military regional commander Colonel Suhartono Suratman on Saturday denied the charges Alex was still alive and being kept in a military jail. Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975, and Jakarta unilaterally annexed the troubled territory the following year.

The United Nations and most other countries did not recognize the annexation and still viewed Lisbon as the official administrator over the territory. 'EAST TIMOR ON THE NET' For the latest updates, news and views on East Timor and Indonesia Visit http://www.easttimor.com maintained by the East Timor International Support Center Hon Chairman: Jose Ramos-Horta Nobel Peace Laureate 1996

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