The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/east-timor/arbitrary-detention

Subject: omct:idn/tmp181197/arbitrary detention/ill treatment/East Timor 
   Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 09:33:40 +0000 
     To: "EAST TIMOR" 

Case IDN/TMP 181197

The International Secretariat requests your URGENT intervention in the
following situation in East Timor

Brief description of the situation:

The International Secretariat has been informed by various reliable
sources of the grave concerns over the physical and psychological
integrity of eight East Timorese students, who sustained serious
gunshot wounds during a confrontation with Indonesian security forces,
at the University of East Timor in Dili, on the morning of 14 November

According to the information received the eight students, Antonio
Viegas, 24, Albano Barreto, 27, Natalina Duarte de Araujo, Adolfo da
Costa, Joaquim Matatai, Abrao do Nascimento, Bendito Simao and Orlando
(no surname) are currently in custody at the military hospital at
Wirahusada, Dili. Indonesian authorities have admitted that some
arrests have been made and it is believed that up to 10 to 15 students
were driven away by the Indonesian police for questioning at either
POLDA (local police station) or POLRES (Regional police) headquarters.
However, their whereabouts is still unconfirmed.

The confrontation between the students and Indonesian security forces
is believed to have started when an argument broke out on the campus
between students and two members of the Indonesian military dressed in
plain clothes. When faced with the students demanding to know their
presence at the university, the both men left the campus and returned
with members of the BTT (territorial battalion). It is believed that
the soldiers then opened fire into the crowd of students seriously
injuring several students. The soldiers were later joined by members
of battalion 744 and Indonesian police, who claimed to have fired
shots into the air to disperse the crowd.

Reports state that several wounded students were beaten with riffle
butts and bayonets. One student who sustained a serious gunshot wound
to the neck was forcibly removed from an ICRC (International Committee
of the Red Cross) vehicle and severely beaten by the police.
Furthermore, Abrao do Nascimento and Bendito Simao who received
serious gunshot and knife wounds to their arms and faces, were forced
to remain handcuffed while being driven by the military to the

According to several reports, military authorities had prevented
representatives of the ICRC and other humanitarian organisations from
entering the university to give assistance to the wounded.

The International Secretariat is concerned for the safety of all the
students taken into custody, in particular for the eight wounded
students at the military hospital as some of the wounded were
mistreated by the military on their way to the hospital. 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, especially when the detainees are denied
access to their families and independent legal counsel.

Action requested:

Please write to the Indonesian authorities urging them to:

i.  immediately locate the whereabouts and clarify the identity of all
the East Timorese students arrested after the confrontation at the
University of East Timor in Dili, take all the necessary measures to
guarantee their physical and psychological integrity and ensure that
they have immediate and ongoing access to medical assistance.

ii. order their immediate release in the absence of valid charges or
if such charges exist, bring them before a competent and impartial
civil tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;

iii. carry out an impartial and thorough investigation into the
events, identify those responsible and impose upon them the civil,
penal and/or administrative sanctions provided by law

iv.  to ensure in all circumstances the full respect of human rights and
fundamental freedoms in accordance with national and international


MINISTER OF JUSTICE M. Haji Utoyo Usman S.H., Menteri Kehakiman, JI.
H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 6-7, Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia. Fax :
+ 62 21 525 3095

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

CHIEF OF NATIONAL POLICE Maj. Gen. (Pol.) Banurusman Atmosumitro,
Kapolri, Markas Besar Kepolisian RI, JI. Trunojoyo 13, Kebayoran Baru,
Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia. Telegrams : National Police Chief,
Jakarta, Indonesia

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

General Syahrir MS. Pangdam IX/Udayana, Markas Besar KODAM IX/Udayana,
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Telegram : Pangdam IX/Udayana, Denpasar,
Bali, Indonesia.

Baharuddin Lopa, Sekretaris Jenderal, Komisi Nasional Hak Azasi
Manusia (Komnas HAM), JI Latuharhary No.4 B, Menteng Jakarta Pusat,
Indonesia. Phone/Fax: +62 21 392 5227 Email:

The Indonesian Embassy in your respective country.

Geneva, 18 November 1997

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this
appeal in your reply

Ben Schonveld
Projects Manager
Case Postale 119
37-39 Rue de Vermont
CH1211 Geneva 20 CIC
Fax 4122 733 1051
Ph  4122 733 3140
OMCT is: l'Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture
         The World Organisation Against Torture


OMCT - The World Organisation Against Torture is the Worlds largest
network of human rights organisations fighting against all forms of
torture, cruel inhuman or degrading treatment, forced disappearances
summary execution or other more subtle forms of violent repression.
OMCT has consultative status with the UN, The ILO and the
African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights.


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