Subject: AFP: Permission needed to visit Xanana
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo:

East Timor rebel leader moves to new house prison

JAKARTA, Feb 10 (AFP) - East Timor rebel leader Xanana Gusmao on Wednesday left Cipinang jail after more than five years and was moved to a specially prepared house in the Indonesian capital, witnesses said.

Gusmao, 53, left the jail to the cheers of a group of young East Timorese supporters who shouted "Viva Xanana" and "Viva Timor L'este" (Long Live East Timor).

The move comes amid intensified efforts for a settlement in the troubled territory of East Timor, the former Portuguese colony invaded by Indonesia in 1975 and annexed a year later.

The United Nations and most countries refuse to recognise the annexation and continue to view Portugal as the official administrator.

Gusmao's transfer from prison, where he was serving a 20-year sentence, is seen as a compromise after calls from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for his release or for a move to house arrest.

The house has been designated an extension of Cipinang jail and Indonesia insists it has not put Gusmao under house arrest.

A signboard reading "Indonesian Justice Ministry, Jakarta Chapter, Special Penitentiary" was erected above the main gate.

On hand to receive Gusmao at the house were Justice Minister Muladi and director general for penitentiary affairs, Thahir Abdullah.

At the house, in a residential area behind Salemba jail in central Jakarta, officials have said Gusmao will remain a prisoner under the guard of wardens and police.

Muladi said Xanana's relatives would only be allowed to visit him if they have permits from the ministry.

"Relatives may come and visit but cannot stay over. Sympathizers could visit as long as they get permission from the Justice Ministry and foreigners too if they get permission from the Foreign Ministry," he told reporters.

"Whoever wants to meet him, we will not make it difficult for them as long as they follow the procedure," said Silahudi Silalahi, head of the Salemba jail and responsible for security.

Several of the East Timorese youths who greeted Xanana outside Cipinang prison earlier gained access to the house to see him settle in. In the guest room a picture of Jesus Christ and another of the Virgin Mary adorned the otherwise blank walls.

Gusmao, captured in 1992, was sentenced to life imprisonment the following year but his sentence was later commuted to 20 years.

Indonesia has faced growing pressure from the UN and Western countries to grant Gusmao an amnesty and let him play a role in a settlement.

His move follow two days of talks between Indonesia and Portugal at the United Nations in New York which considered ways to consult the East Timorese on draft UN autonomy proposals.

The two countries differed over how to consult the East Timorese on whether they want autonomy or full independence, with Indonesia opposing any referendum.

Jakarta pledged to move Gusmao the same day it made a surprise announcement that it would recommend independence if the East Timorese rejected autonomy.

The announcement has raised tensions in the territory as rival factions consolidate their positions.

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