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Take action today to protest recent killings by the Indonesian military in East Timor
November 24,1998

ETAN has received disturbing reports of the deaths of at least 50 East Timorese in the Alas region of East Timor. The killings were committed during an ongoing Indonesian military operation. Many East Timorese civilians from the area have been arrested and many others are missing -- some believed disappeared by the military, others fleeing further violence (see below for background). An immediate independent investigation of this brutal incident is vital to ensure the safety of survivors in the region. Also long-overdue is a permanent international presence in East Timor-- to prevent further human rights abuses and to monitor the genuine withdrawal of Indonesian troops -- prior to a U.N.-supervised referendum on self-determination.

Call or fax your Representative, Senators and the U.S. State Department to strongly urge their support for an immediate international investigation into the massacre and the safety of those arrested and disappeared.

  • Urge the Clinton administration to help end the killings and by calling for international or U.N. monitoring, and a genuine withdrawal of troops from East Timor.
  • Urge your Congressional Representative and Senators to call the State Department to press for strong administration action to counter recent Indonesian military violence in East Timor. Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 (For a current list of Congressional e-mail addresses, office and fax numbers, try )
  • Call or write the State Department directly: SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, U.S. Department of State: (202) 647-5291; fax: (202) 647-6434;
  • Call or write the State Department directly: ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR E. ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS STANLEY ROTH (202) 647-9596, Fax: (202) 647-7350
  • Call or write the State Department directly: INDONESIA DESK, U.S. State Department, (202) 647-1823; fax: (202) 647-7350

Also write or call the Indonesian Embassy:

  • MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Ali Alatas S.H; c/o Embassy of Indonesia, 2020 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-775-5200; fax: 202-775-5365;
  • expressing concern at the escalation of violence in East Timor's Alas sub-district and calling on the Indonesian authorities to allow an impartial international investigation into allegations of human rights violations committed during the military operations, including all alleged extra-judicial executions, disappearances and arbitrary detentions. Urge Indonesia to prosecute those found responsible to the fullest extent of the law;
  • seeking assurances that any detainees will not face torture and ill-treatment in detention and that they will be treated humanely and in accordance with international standards;
  • urging the Indonesian authorities to allow a permanent international human rights monitors to be stationed in East Timor.

Please forward the results of your contacts to ETAN.

According to reports received over the weekend, between November 9 and 19, at least 50 people were killed by Indonesian soldiers in the subdistrict of Alas, about 200 km from the capital Dili. Hundreds of East Timorese students have protested in Dili, East Timor's capital, this week to protest the killings.

Nobel Peace Laureate Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo has said that up to 40 people were killed. Mario Carrascalão, a former governor of the territory and an advisor to Indonesia 's President B. J. Habibie, has said 44 were killed. The East Timor Human Rights Centre reports at least 28 people disappeared and two dozen arrested. Large numbers of villagers have fled to nearby forests or sought refuge in local churches. Water and food have been cut off to the area.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, on Friday condemned the killings and demanded confirmation of the situation in the area. The Portuguese Government temporarily withdrew in protest from U.N.-sponsored talks with Indonesia on the future of the territory.

On December 7, 1975, the Indonesian military brutally invaded East Timor. The following July, East Timor was illegally but formally "integrated" into Indonesia as its "27th province." The U.N. and most of the world's countries do not recognize this act, and the East Timorese reject it. According to human rights groups and the Catholic Church more than 200,000 -- one-third of the population – have been killed by the Indonesian occupation forces.

The East Timor Action Network/U.S. supports genuine self-determination and human rights for the people of East Timor and democracy in Indonesia. ETAN recently released with others leaked Indonesian military documents proving increased troop levels in East Timor, despite Indonesian government claims of withdrawals last summer.

Additional background can be found at the following web sites:

Lynn Fredriksson, Washington Representative East Timor Action Network 110 Maryland Avenue NE #30 Washington, DC 20002 202-544-6911; 202-546-5103 (fax)

John M. Miller Internet: Media & Outreach Coordinator, East Timor Action Network PO Box 150753, Brooklyn, NY 11215-0014 USA Phone: (718)596-7668

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