Subject: Transcript: East Timorese Survivors Call for Justice

Australian Broadcasting Corporation AM News - transcript Monday, January 31, 2000 8:04

East Timorese survivors call for justice

COMPERE: In East Timor itself the victims of the Indonesia-backed militias have no doubt that the high-ranking Indonesian military officers were directly responsible for the violence. One of the first attacks to gain international attention was carried out in the capital, Dili. Refugees seeking shelter in the home of pro-independence leader, Manuel Carrascalao, were targeted by militia members and by Indonesian soldiers.

Through an interpreter, our correspondent Ginny Stein spoke to 19 year-old Florindo de Jesus, one of the very few survivors of an attack in which at least 12 were brutally slaughtered.

FLORINDO DE JESUS: They attacked from the front of the house and I ran out the back. I wanted to jump the back fence but they'd already surrounded the house so I climbed up a tree with two friends and hid. There was fighting inside. I saw the militia and Indonesian army. They killed everybody inside the house. I tried to jump over the fence but I was attacked from behind. First they slashed my arm; then my other arm; then they hacked my shoulder and they slashed my back. I fell to the ground.

GINNY STEIN: Florindo's older brother was murdered in front of him.

FLORINDO DE JESUS: My brother was shot in the neck. He was still standing. He called out to me; then he fell and a militia man hit him in the head, smashing his skull. He died immediately.

GINNY STEIN: Twelve people have been confirmed as having been killed that day. But the true figure is expected to be much higher. Florindo has spend months receiving medical care, first in Dili, later in Kupang in West Timor where he was forced to flee, targeted once more by the militia.

Only in the last few days has he finally been able to go home. Through all the turmoil he's hoped for one thing: that those guilty of violence will be brought to justice. He says, while the dead will be mourned, the living need a tribunal.

FLORINDO DE JESUS: It doesn't matter for my brother. He fought but he was killed on the spot. I need a tribunal.

GINNY STEIN: Florindo says only once those guilty of the countless atrocities committed in East Timor are brought to justice will he have peace of mind. Ginny Stein in Dili for AM.

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