|Subject: AFP: UN checking false ID card report in
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 08:58:55 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
UN checking unconfirmed false ID card report in East Timor
DILI, East Timor, June 24 (AFP) - The UN Mission in East Timor said Thursday it is checking reports of false identity cards being issued to people not qualified to vote in the territory's ballot on self determination.
"We have had reports that false ID cars are being issued to people. We are interested in acquiring some of these so that we can see what they look like," UNAMET spokesman David Wimhurst said.
"We dont know how widespread it is. We are in the process of acquiring some of these documents."
Some 400,000 East Timorese are scheduled to take part in a UN-supervised vote in August on whether they want to accept Jakarta's offer of autonomy under Indonesia or independence.
The date of the vote had been set for August 8, but UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Tuesday said it had been delayed by two weeks because of security and logistical reasons.
Under a formula agreed on in New York on May 5 all people over the age of 17 born in East Timor, or those married to East Timorese are eligible to vote, whether at home or abroad.
Foreign journalists in Dili said that in the past week they had received letters, signed only "victims of intimidation," saying that identity cards were being handed out in at least four districts.
Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed the former Portuguese colony a year later in a move never recognized by the United Nations.
The territory shares a land border with Indonesian West Timor, and is home to several thousand settlers from other Indonesian islands as well as merchants, many of whom have fled the territory since January.