Subject: SMH: Injured Indonesian may die in jail, warns UN

Sydney Morning Herald October 11, 2000

Injured Indonesian may die in jail, warns UN

Dili: An East Timorese court has refused to allow a seriously injured Indonesian man to be released from prison for medical attention.

Taryono was shot in the stomach by UN peacekeepers after wounding two other people with a "long piece of metal". He was remanded in custody on March 31 after being charged with two counts of grievous bodily harm.

Last month UN officials were so concerned at Taryono's deteriorating health that they expressed concern that he might die in jail without proper treatment.

He is being held in the UN jail at Becora and, like scores of other prisoners in UN jails in East Timor, he has been charged but is yet to go on trial.

Officials are worried about the failure of East Timor's judicial system to ensure proper treatment for Taryono, despite expressions of concern by New Zealand prison staff at Becora.

The Herald received a copy of a letter dated September 29, addressed to the deputy head of the East Timor Transitional Administration, Mr Andrew Whitley, requesting urgent medical aid for Taryono.

The appeal was written by Mr Macario Perdigao, the officer in charge of the UN's judicial affairs department. There is no record of a reply.

"This detainee is very sick and in need of medical attention," the letter said. "The last thing UNTAET would desire is to have an inmate die in detention for want of medical attention.''

The Herald has been told that a Red Cross doctor has since visited Taryono and that he is receiving treatment. However, it is unclear whether he will be released to undergo surgery.

UN officials said an East Timorese court had refused an application to release Taryono into hospital for treatment. The UN letter also raised concerns about whether medical facilities were willing to admit Taryono.

Mark Dodd


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