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Subject: ETHRC UA 12/98: Arbitrary Detention and Torture
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 19:13:49 -1000
From: ethrc <>

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 9415 8218 E-mail: Director: Ms Maria Brett Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin

URGENT ACTION 22 July 1998

NAMES: Januario Freitas, 22 ) Detained at Wirahusada military hospital Abilio Vicente, 26 ) Olandino Oliveira, 36 )

Eugenio Sousa, 27 ) Tortured then released Marito (no surname), 26 ) Serafin de Jesus Ribeiro, 23 ) Augusto Pinto, 25 ) Esaias, 16 )

Carlito Guterres, 29 ) Detained, tortured and later released Fernando Pereira, 25 )

VIOLATION: Arbitrary Detention / Torture

LOCATION: Dili, East Timor Ref: UA 12/98

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) is concerned for the safety of three East Timorese men, Januario Freitas, Abilio Vicente and Olandino Oliveira, who are currently in detention at the Wirahusada military hospital in Dili.

The three men disappeared on or about 11 July, 1998, and their disappearance was apparently connected to another seven East Timorese youths who were interrogated and tortured on the same day. The whereabouts of the three men was unknown until local sources finally located them at the Wirahusada military hospital, where they are still being detained. It is believed the three men are injured, although no information is available about the injuries, or the circumstances in which the injuries were sustained. It is feared they may have been subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

ETHRC sources have confirmed that the three men have been denied access to legal representation. Members of their families who tried to visit them were also refused entry. Grave concerns are held for their safety as it is believed they are at risk of torture an ill-treatment, a risk which is heightened if legal representation and family visits are not allowed.

It is believed the detention of Januario Freitas, Abilio Vicente and Olandino Oliveira is somehow related to the interrogation and torture of another seven East Timorese youths on the same day. At 11.00pm, Eugenio Sousa, Marito (no surname), Serafin de Jesus Ribeiro, Augusto Pinto and 16 year old Esaias, were standing guard in the Beto hamlet in Comoro, Dili, for protection against "ninjas". Ninjas are roving gangs of masked or hooded men, hired by the Indonesian military to intimidate independence supporters, often by conducting night-time raids on their homes. The five youths were surprised by twenty armed members of ABRI who asked them why they were there. The youths said they were keeping guard against ninjas and the soldiers replied "we are the ninjas", then started beating and torturing the East Timorese youths. They were all kicked and beaten with gun butts in order to extract information. Serafin de Jesus Ribeiro and Augusto Pinto were stripped naked and then hit in the face, forehead, head, chest and stomach.

It is believed information was obtained during the torture and the five men were allowed to go free. However, based on the information obtained, another two East Timorese youths, Carlito Guterres and Fernando Pereira, were arrested. They were kicked and beaten with gun butts at the time of their arrest and accused of organising pro-independence youths to keep guard against ninjas. There were two military trucks nearby, full of BRIMOB (mobile police brigade) members, and the two East Timorese youths were thrown into one of the trucks and taken to West Dili KORAMIL (sub-district military command), where they were detained for 24 hours. They were then transferred to POLRES (Police Resort) headquarters in Dili, where they were subjected to torture during interrogation. They were stripped naked, tortured, and beaten with gun butts to all parts of their bodies. The authorities threatened to kill them if East Timorese from their area organised demonstrations in Dili or attended pro-independence forums at the University of East Timor. On 12 July, they were released with orders to report daily to the authorities.


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

* Seeking details of the charges (if any) against Januario Freitas, Abilio Vicente and Olandino Oliveira and calling for their immediate and unconditional release (or transfer to a non-military hospital if they still require medical treatment) unless they have been charged with a recognisable offence under existing laws. * Seeking assurances that the three men will be allowed immediate access to legal representation and to members of their families, and that they will not face torture and ill-treatment in detention but will be treated humanely and in accordance with international standards. * Expressing concern that Eugenio Sousa, Marito (no surname), Serafin de Jesus Ribeiro, Augusto Pinto, Esaias, Carlito Guterres and Fernando Pereira were arbitrarily detained and subjected to torture in detention. * Calling on the Indonesian authorities to conduct a full and proper investigation in to the torture allegations and to ensure that the perpetrators are charged under the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) and face criminal trials, and that they receive sentences reflecting the seriousness of the crimes. * Urging the government of Indonesia to ensure that East Timorese civilians will not be targeted for arrest, torture and "disappearance" because of their non-violent political activities.


1. PRESIDENT YUSUF HABIBIE President of the Republic of Indonesia Istana Negara Gedung Binagraha Jl. Veteran Jakarta Pusat INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 345 7782 Telegrams: President Habibie, Jakarta, Indonesia E-mail:

2. MINISTER OF JUSTICE Minister Prof. Dr. Muladi, SH Menteri Kehakiman Jl H.R. Rasuna Said Blok X VI Kav. 4-5 Kuningan Jakarta Selatan INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 525 3095 Telegrams: Justice Minister Muladi, Jakarta, Indonesia


3. 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:

4. MINISTER FOR 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 / 724 5354


* Diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country * Parliamentarians and the Foreign Ministry in your country

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

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