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Subject: RT: Timorese youth killed
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 09:14:19 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <etan@etan.org>

Indonesia army apologizes for Timorese death 08:44 a.m. Jun 17, 1998 Eastern

DILI, East Timor (Reuters) - The Indonesian military apologized Wednesday for the death of an East Timorese youth and arrested a soldier accused of killing him.

Thousands of East Timorese in the territory's capital, Dili, earlier protested against the killing and demanded an investigation by the U.N. human rights commission.

``We apologize for the incident. We have arrested one officer accused of killing the man,'' Colonel Mudjino, deputy chief of the East Timor military commander, told a news conference in Dili.

``What has happened was a mistake by the armed forces. I have ordered a thorough investigation,'' he said.

Herman das Dores Soares, 21, was shot Tuesday near Manatuto, about 63 miles east of East Timor's capital of Dili, when he was collecting wood with his cousin Olandino Soares.

His body was taken to his mother's house while the Dili protesters gathered at the regional council. They said they would stay there until their demands were met.

Residents said Herman Soares died in a hospital in Manatuto. It was unclear why he and his cousin were shot.

The Indonesian military has been accused of human rights abuses in East Timor, which Indonesia invaded in 1975, and annexed the following year in a move still not recognized by the United Nations.

In a clash with Indonesian troops in Dili on November 12, 1991, 50 demonstrators were killed after a youth's funeral, according to an official report. Witnesses and human rights groups estimate at least 200 people died.

Indonesia still faces armed resistance from some 200 guerrillas hiding in the territory's forests and mountains.

Anti-Indonesia protests flared up in East Timor after president Suharto resigned last month, following months of student protests and bloody riots in the capital Jakarta.

In Jakarta, about 250 East Timorese students demonstrated in front of the Justice Ministry Wednesday, demanding a referendum on the future of the territory and the release of all political prisoners.

Troops kept watch on the protest but there was no tension. Students shook hands with soldiers when they dispersed after presenting ministry officials with a petition.

``The freeing of the prisoners will be a great act of reconciliation between the government of Indonesia and the people of East Timor,'' said one student, Joaquin de Fonseca.

``The army is not our enemy,'' said another student. ``The enemy is the Suharto system, which used the army to suppress the people of Indonesia.''

News of the shooting in East Timor surfaced later in the day and the mood of the students changed.

``We are very disappointed this has happened,'' said de Fonseca. ``It shows that the government's attitude has not changed.''

--- East Timorese protest against death of youth DILI, East Timor, June 17 (Reuters) - Thousands of East Timorese demonstrated in the territory's capital Dili on Wednesday against the death of a youth who, residents said, was killed by Indonesian soldiers.

The protesters, mostly students, accompanied the body of Herman das Dores Soares in an ambulance to the governor's office and to the regional council to demand an investigation by the United Nations' human rights commission.

``Thousands of people took to the street to protest against the death,'' said one witness. ``There was no violence and security was light.''

The body was later taken to the house of the victim's mother, while students threatened to stay through the night at the council until their demands were met.

Residents said Herman Soares and his cousin Olandino Soares were shot on Tuesday near Manatuto, about 100 km (63 miles) east of Dili, while they were collecting wood.

``The two were shot without warning,'' said one resident in Dili, adding that there appeared to be no reason for soldiers to open fire.

Police could not be reached for comment. A military officer stationed in Dili, capital of the former Portuguese territory, said he had not heard of the incident and refused to comment further.

Residents said Herman Soares died at a hospital in Manatuto from his wounds.

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