EAST TIMOR HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE
124 Napier St Fitzroy 3065 Australia
PO BOX 1413 Collingwood 3066 Australia
Tel: 61 3 9415 8225 Fax: 61 3 9416 2746 E-mail: etchrmel@peg.apc.org
Director: Ms Maria Brett Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin


URGENT ACTION Progress Report

21 November 1997

NAMES:
Bernardino Simao (not Bendito Simao as previously reported)
Antonio Viegas, 24
Natalina Duarte de Araujo (f)
Orlando (no surname)

NEW NAMES:
Domingos da Silva
Francisco de Deus
Vicente da Cruz
Juvenal dos Santos, 23
Silverio Baptista
Marito de Almeida, 22

VIOLATIONS:
Arbitrary detention / Disappearances / Torture

LOCATION:
Dili, East Timor

Ref: UA 26/97PR

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) has received further information about the East Timorese students who were injured and detained on 14 November during a confrontation with Indonesian security forces at the University of East Timor in Dili (see UA 26/97 for details).

Joaquim Matetai, Albano Barreto, Adolfo da Costa and Abrao do Nascimento, who sustained gunshot wounds during the incident, were treated for three days at the Wirahusada military hospital at Lahane, Dili, then transferred to POLRES (Police Resort) headquarters in Dili and later released. The ETHRC welcomes the release of these four students.

A fifth man, Bernardino Simao, was also treated for three days at the Wirahusada hospital and then transferred to POLDA (the local police station) in Comoro, Dili. It is believed he has been accused of being the mastermind of the 14 November incident. Another five students, Domingos da Silva, Francisco de Deus, Vicente da Cruz, Juvenal dos Santos and Silverio Baptista, are also believed to be in detention at the POLDA headquarters while another student, Marito de Almeida, is believed to be in detention at POLRES in Dili, where he has been subjected to intensive interrogation.

No further information is available about three other students, Antonio Viegas, Natalina Duarte de Araujo, and Orlando (no surname) but it is believed they may still be held at the Wirhusada military hospital.

An official statement by Colonel Slamat Sidabutar of the Indonesian military, reported in the local newspaper, Suara Timor Timur, stated that sixteen East Timorese people were arrested during the confrontation. According to the report, two members of the BTT (Territorial Battalion) were also treated at the military hospital for injuries sustained during the incident. This was confirmed in an official report from the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) which stated that ICRC delegates visited six civilians and two soldiers at the Wirahusada hospital on 15 November.

The ETHRC is concerned for the safety of all East Timorese students still in detention, particularly those who have sustained injuries. It is believed some detainees have already been subjected to torture so grave fears are held for the remaining detainees. Detainees in East Timor are routinely subjected to torture and ill-treatment while in military or police custody and the risk of torture and ill-treatment is heightened when detainees are denied access to their families and independent legal counsel.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Please send faxes/telegrams/express/airmail letters in English, Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:

  • seeking clarification of the names and whereabouts of all East Timorese students still detained following their arrest after the 14 November confrontation at the University of East Timor;
  • seeking assurances that detainees who have sustained injuries will have immediate and ongoing access to medical assistance, and that all detainees will have ongoing access to members of their families, independent legal representation and humanitarian assistance;
  • seeking clarification of the charges (if any) against the detainees and calling for their immediate and unconditional release if they have not been charged with a recognisable offence under existing laws;
  • seeking assurances that the detainees will not face torture or ill-treatment while in detention and that they will be treated humanely and in accordance with international standards; and
  • calling on the Indonesian authorities to conduct a full and impartial inquiry into the 14 November incident to determine whether excessive force was used by the Indonesian security forces.

    SEND APPEALS TO:

    1. MILITARY COMMANDER REGION IX/UDAYANA (includes East Timor)
    General Syahrir MS
    Pangdam IX/Udayana
    Markas Besar KODAM IX/Udayana
    Denpasar, Bali
    INDONESIA
    Telephone: +62 361 228 095
    Telegrams: Pangdam IX/Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

    2. CHIEF OF POLICE FOR EAST TIMOR
    Colonel Atok Rismanto
    Kapolda Timor Timur
    Dili, East Timor
    INDONESIA
    Telegrams: Kapolda, Dili, East Timor

    ALSO SEND COPIES TO:

    3. MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
    Ali Alatas S.H.
    Menteri Luar Negeri
    Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No. 6
    Jakarta
    INDONESIA
    Faxes: +62 21 360 541 / 360 517 / 380 5511 / 345 7782

    4. SECRETARY GENERAL, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
    Prof. Dr. Baharuddin Lopa
    Sekretaris Jenderal, Komisi Nasional Hak Azasi Manusia (Komnas HAM)
    Jl Latuharhary No 4 B,
    Menteng Jakarta Pusat
    INDONESIA
    Phone/Fax: +62 21 392 5227
    Email: info@komnas.go.id

    and to diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country.

    PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY
    Check with the East Timor Human Rights Centre if sending appeals after 2 January 1998

    From:
    ethrc
    ethrc@minihub.org
    Fri, 21 Nov 1997


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