Subject: Jesuit priest who refused to leave refugees murdered in E Timor
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 05:12:29 EDT

Jesuit priest murdered in East Timor

BANGKOK, Sept 12 (AFP) - A German Jesuit priest who refused to leave refugees in East Timor paid with his life after he was shot and killed near his home, the Jesuit Refugee Service said Sunday.

Father Karl Albrecht, 70, was shot by unidentified gunmen late Saturday night after he heard an intruder outside his house, a JRS spokesman said.

"At about 11 pm on Saturday he was shot," said the spokesman.

Albrecht stayed in East Timor after other foreign aid workers left when pro-Jakarta militias started to massacre people after the former Portuguese colony voted for independence.

"He was spending his time driving around East Timor to give out food and medicine to refugees," said the spokesman.

"He was a very fine man, the news that we have heard is amazing."

"I have never known anybody who was so courageous, his actions of driving his car around Dili and delivering food and medicine to the needy was just amazing."

A fellow priest was alerted when he heard three shots, one of which he found had hit Albrecht in the stomach, the spokesman said.

Albrecht was apparently shot after an intruder ordered him to turn off his torch, the spokesman said.

"He wore a hearing aid so he might not have clearly understood the order to turn off the flashlight.

"There was another father there who heard what was going on, he was rushed to the hospital but it was too late."

The spokesman said Albrecht was appointed director of the newly opened East Timor office of the Jesuit Refugee Service earlier this year.

Indonesian military spokesman on Sunday denied reports that refugees were under attack from regular soldiers and pro-Jakarta militia in East Timor.

Troops have been accused of firing indiscriminately at thousands of refugees. Reporters who have been to the East Timor capital Dili have said it has been devastated by days of violence.

World Leaders Contact List The East Timorese need you to speak out for them

Back to September Menu
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu