Subject: AU: Timor militia accused of sex-slavery
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 17:35:31 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

The Australian 1 June 99

Timor militia accused of sex-slavery

By JOHN ZUBRZYCKI

DILI: Disturbing reports have emerged from East Timor that women are being used as sex slaves by a pro-Indonesia militia as part of a campaign to cleanse areas that support independence.

A document from the National Council for the East Timor Resistance (CNRT), which has been obtained by The Australian, contains detailed information including names of women who have been forced into slavery and other people who have been killed or tortured by the militia.

The document – dated May 28 and signed by Ete Uco Terbatim, the CNRT head of Region Four, which takes in areas of the province bordering West Timor – also reports that preparations are being made for a major offensive by militia groups, supported by the Indonesian military, after the June 7 national election. It says women from the villages of Ulmera, Fahi Lebo and Leorema, near the town of Hatolia, about 60km south of Dili, have been taken from their families and forced to work for the militia during the day.

"At night our sisters are forced to offer their bodies for the wishes of the militia. This is incorrect and violent," says the document, which is written in Portuguese. "The militia are destroying houses, killing, raping and terrorising the people they find in the villages. The people are forced to evacuate to the forest. Those unable to evacuate were captured and submitted to interrogation and torture."

An annex to the report contains the names of more than 60 people affected by the violence over a 10-day period, including about a dozen who have been confirmed dead.

The CNRT report says the violence and intimidation is being carried out by the Naga Merah (Red Dragon) militia, under the command of "Lucas", to root out pro-independence sympathisers.

It tallies with other information collected by church groups and submitted to the UN Assistance Mission for East Timor (UNAMET) in Dili. A UNAMET electoral survey team on Saturday visited the area, but has yet to deliver its report. Sources close to the UN said it had made some "disturbing" findings.

The CNRT document also alleges a member of the Forum for Unity, Democracy and Justice, the political front of the militias, met with the chief of police in Gleno on May 24 and advised the militia to hide weapons ahead of the UN team's arrival in the town.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has until mid-June to decide whether conditions in East Timor are conducive to an August 8 ballot on autonomy for the territory.

Meanwhile, the Popular Council for the Defence of the Democratic Republic of East Timor has called for the complete withdrawal of Indonesian troops from the territory ahead of the August vote.

The situation in Dili yesterday remained tense ahead of an expected militia sweep of the city to check voter registration cards.

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