Subject: KY: Amnesty says Indonesian assurances of nonviolence 'a mockery'
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 10:02:37 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Kyodo News Service August 6, 1999, Friday

Indonesian assurances of nonviolence 'a mockery'

LONDON, Aug. 6 Kyodo

Indonesia's claims it will improve security for the citizens of East Timor in the lead up to an independence referendum are untrue, the human rights group Amnesty International said Friday.

The government is not doing enough to stop pro-Indonesian militias attacking voters registering for the Aug. 30 poll, the group said in a statement issued in London.

Pointing to two separate incidents in East Timor on Thursday and Friday, Amnesty said, 'The government has reneged on its promise to rein in pro-integration militia groups. Instead, Indonesia offers them support and protection.'

One registration center in the Bobonaro district is said to have come under attack from militias Thursday. Carrying machetes and knives, further militia members are alleged to have attacked another registration post in the Manfahi district early Friday.

'Public and blatant threats and incitement to violence are being made by political leaders, yet the Indonesian authorities do not apprehend these people,' the group said.

'The only conclusion that can be drawn from such lack of action is that the Indonesian government (of President B.J. Habibie) does not have the political will to see this process through,' it said.

The poll at the end of August will establish whether the East Timorese wish for special autonomy within Indonesia or independence. It has already been postponed for three weeks because of escalating tension and delays in counting votes in the national parliamentary elections.

The pro-integration militia groups, Amnesty said, have the clear support of the Indonesian military, and, to a lesser extent, the police. Among those targeted are independence campaigners, U.N. staff, aid workers and journalists.

The Indonesian Embassy in London declined to comment. END

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