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Subject: OMCT Case IDN/TMP 241198/Indonesia-East Timor/Human rights violations in Alas
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 19:31:57 +0100
From: "" <>

Case IDN/TMP 241198

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention regarding the following situation in Indonesia/ East Timor.

Brief description of the situation:

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC), a member the OMCT network, has expressed its grave concern over the human rights violations in the Alas sub-district, Manufahi district, and has confirmed the executions and arbitrary arrests of civilians.

According to the reports, between the 10th and the 16th of November 1998, approximately 50 persons were executed during a military operation carried out by members of the Indonesian military (ABRI) in the sub-district of Alas in the South of East Timor, 14 of whom are identified and 36 of whom remain unidentified. Following the same operation, up to 30 people have been disappeared or arrested, including two teenage East Timorese girls, who are believed to be in incommunicado detention (the International Secretariat does not have information as to whether these girls are minors). The whereabouts of most of the detainees are unknown and the International Secretariat fears for their safety and their physical and psychological integrity.

The entire list of the victims' names (summarily executed and arrested and/or disappeared) is available at the International Secretariat.

According to several sources, including the ETHRC and Human Rights Watch, military operations have started after armed guerillas executed three suspected intelligence agents and fatally wounded a forth, on October 31 1998. Following these events, on November 9 1998, some villagers, allegedly with some guerilla support, attacked a sub-district military command post, killing three soldiers and taking thirteen others in captivity. While the majority was released, two East Timorese men remain in custody.

According to the ETHRC, during one military operation of the ABRI forces, extra-judicial executions took place on 13 November 1998 in the village of Taitudak. Those executed include the village chief, Mr. Vicente Xavier. On 15 November 1998, ABRI forces allegedly again attacked the village of Taitudak and also the village of Turin. Two nieces of Mr. Vicente Xavier, Etelvina and Atina, both in their teens, were arrested and taken to KODIM 1634 (District Military Headquarters) in Same, where it is believed they are being held in incommunicado detention. Since detainees in military custody are routinely subjected to torture and ill- treatment, the International Secretariat expresses its grave concern over the integrity of both girls.

It has been further reported that on 16 November 1998, eleven East Timorese persons were arrested by members of Kopassus at their homes in the villages of Taitudak and Betanu. Another five, were identified in Dili. It is believed the five were arrested by the military, under suspicion of links with Falintil.. Up to the issue of the Appeal, their whereabouts are unknown.

Another twelve East Timorese people were reported as either arrested or disappeared. It is not clear whether these people are in detention or whether they have gone into hiding, fearing for their safety.

According to information received, as a result of the military attacks, many villagers living in the Alas sub-district have fled to the surrounding forest areas or have sought refuge at their local Catholic parishes. They are worrying allegations that because soldiers are controlling the food supply there is a critical shortage of food and water. It is believed that the military have also destroyed the water pipeline. Moreover, freedom of movement has been severely limited and ETHRC has stated that access to human rights groups and humanitarian organizations has been denied.

According to ETHRC, the ABRI forces responsible for the military operation include personnel from battalions 315, 744, 745, marine forces, Gaurda Penculik, Black Horse Mobile Brigade and Hansip (East Timorese recruited into the Indonesian military).

Further reports indicate that more than 2 000 students have gathered in Dili, the capital, to protest the alleged massacre. Students have apparently occupied the local parliament and are calling for the withdrawal of Indonesian troops. The students moved into the building on Monday 23rd. November.

Given the build up in tension and the reaction of the Military authorities to similar popular demonstrations, the International Secretariat can only express its grave concern for the security of the demonstrators.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities of Indonesia urging them to:

i. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all arrested persons in the Alas sub-district and and immediately locate the whereabouts of the disappeared East Timorese people;

ii. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the students currently demonstrating in Dili;

iii.order the immediate release of the arrested persons if they are detained without valid charges against them or, if such charges exist, bring them before a competent and impartial tribunal and guarantee their full procedural rights;

iv. guarantee an impartial and exhaustive enquiry into the aforementioned incidents, identify those responsible, bring them to trial, and apply the penal, civil, and/or administrative sanctions provided by law, in accordance with international standards;

v. allow immediate access into the Manufahi district to humanitarian organisations and human rights monitors;

vi. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards;


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

MILITARY COMMANDER RESORT MILITARY COMMAND (includes East Timor) Colonel Tono Suratman, Markas KOREM 164/ Wiradharma, Dili East Timor, (Indonesia), Telephone: +62 390 21 624, Telegrams: Colonel Suratman, East Timor, (Indonesia)

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

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:

Diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country

Geneva, 24 November 1998

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

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.

OMCT stands for: l'Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture The World Organisation Against Torture OMCT-SOS-Torture Fax 4122 733 1051 Ph 4122 733 3140

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