|Subject: AI FI080/99 EAST TIMOR Fear for safety
Date: 27 Apr 99 11:19:50 -0400
From: UA E-Mail Incoming <UA%AI-UK@amnesty.org.uk>
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PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/35/99 26 April 1999
Further information on UA 80/99 (ASA 21/31/99, 19 April 1999) - Fear for safety
It has now been confirmed that Antonio Barbosa, a civil servant and pro-independence activist, was arrested at his home in Dili on 17 April 1999. His whereabouts remain unknown, and there are grave concerns for his safety.
A number of people, some of whom have been threatened, are at risk of arrest or being killed by paramilitary units. They include Alfredo da Silva Alpha (previously referred to as Alfredo), the Coordinator of the Justice and Peace Commission in Aileu; Domingos Dias dos Santos, 52, a civil servant for Aileu; Joaquim dos Reis, 44, from Suai who has been threatened by two paramilitary units, Laksaur Merah Putih and Mahidi; Gido Ramos Ribeiro, 41 a farmer form Rainaba Village in Liquisa District, who has been threatened by Besi Merah Putih.
Five other men from Ossu, Viqueque, are believed to be at risk of arrest by an Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) team: Gregorio da Silva, 30; Antonio da Silva Guterres, 34; Tomas Guterres, 49; Pedru da Costa Alves, 36; Manuel Freitas, 38. There are serious concerns that they would be at risk of ill-treatment, torture or "disappearance" if taken into custody.
Manuel Carrascalao remains in what is believed to be protective police custody at Dili's police headquarters (Polda), together with his daughter Cristine Carrascalao, two of his other children and around 90 other people. Amnesty International is concerned that although the police have said they are in protective custody, lawyers are not being allowed access to them.
Concern remains for the whereabout and safety of around 50 other people who were in Manuel Carrascalao's house on 17 April when it was raided by paramilitaries. Forty others are amongst those at Polda.
Since 5 April, paramilitary groups, supported by ABRI, have committed arbitrary detentions, torture and unlawful killings in intensified violent attacks in several towns across East Timor, in an attempt to "seek" out pro-independence supporters. At least 18, and possibly many more, people were killed in Liquisa on 6 April when paramilitary units - backed up by ABRI - attacked a church where around 2000 local residents had sought refuge from earlier paramilitary assaults.
Since 17 April at least 14 people and possibly many more are believed to have been killed in Dili by paramilitary units. Similar operations are taking place in other towns, including Suai, Liquisa and Ermera. There are continuing reports of arbitrary detentions, unlawful killings and "disappearances", including the killing of seven men in Liquisa since 21 April. Paramilitary road-blocks and threats are preventing confirmation of reports of their activities.
Despite the signing of a peace agreement on 21 April between ABRI, the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), the paramilitaries and the political groups in support of integration, the situation in Dili remains tense. Paramilitary units are still visible on the streets. There are new rumours that they will launch another operation to seek out pro-independence supporters from 28 April to 1 May. Supporters of independence and human rights monitors, many of whom remain in hiding, are still at risk of arrest or violent attacks.
The Indonesian authorities say they have arrested 15 members of paramilitary units for their involvement in attacks since 17 April. The identities and whereabouts of the 15 men are not clear.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send faxes/express/ airmail letters in Bahasa Indonesia or English or in your own language:
- urging the authorities to prevent the arrest of pro-independence leaders and human rights monitors by either paramilitary or military units;
- urging the authorities to take all measures to ensure that those in police custody are protected from attacks by paramilitary and military units, are not arrested and are allowed access to legal counsel, humanitarian assistance and their families;
- urging the authorities to disarm and disband all paramilitary units.
APPEALS TO: (Time difference = GMT + 7 hrs / BST + 6 hrs)
MINISTER OF DEFENSE AND SECURITY:
Gen. Wiranto [Salutation: Dear Minister] Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.13-14 Jakarta 10110 Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 381 4535/ 384 5178
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: Embassy of Indonesia, 38 Grosvenor Square, London W1X 9AD. Fax: 0171 491 4993
AND, IF POSSIBLE, TO THE FOLLOWING:
President Jusuf Habibie Presiden RI Istana Negara Jl. Veteran Jakarta Pusat Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 526 8726 / +62 21 380 5511/+62 21 345 7782 (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after 4 June 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: email@example.com