Subject: ETHRC UA 4/99: Violations in Suai, Bobonaro & Ermera
Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 18:07:24 -1000
From: ethrc <ethrc@minihub.org>

Precedence: bulk

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: ethrc@minihub.org Interim Director: Ms Kathleen Maltzahn Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin

URGENT ACTION May 20 1999

NAMES: Abilio Pires (Maulear) ) confirmed killed Domingos (no surname) ) Jose (no surname) ) Aurelio (no surname) ) Emilio (no surname) ) all Mateus Araujo ) Daniel (no surname) ) believed Amaro(no surname) ) Jorge dos Reis ) to be Celistino (no surname) ) Felix (no surname) ) Marcal (no surname) ) killed Amaro de Araujo ) Bartolomeus (no surname) ) Antonio Borromeu, farmer ) Carlito (no surname), farmer )

Natalino de Jesus (24), student ) attacked Cosme Freitas (23), student Victor Gomes (23), student ) and Abrao do Nacimento (26) student Marcel (no surname), student ) injured

Joao Soares Ximenes, student ) kidnapped and Bernardino Simao, student ) now missing

Jose Guterres (35) Manuel Mendes (45) ) Jose Gonsalves (40) Lino Leite (34) ) injured Anastacio (no surname) (30) )

VIOLATIONS: Unlawful killings/ Ill-treatment/ Disappearance

LOCATIONS: Suai District, Bobonaro District, Ermera District, East Timor

Ref: UA 4/99

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) has received reports of further killings and acts of violence directed at East Timorese civilians in Suai, Bobonaro and Ermera districts. The continuing violence is part of the on-going campaign by the pro-integration para-military groups and the Indonesian military in the lead up to the announced autonomy vote in August.

Suai District

An ETHRC source has confirmed that Abilio Pires (Maulear) went missing on April 16 but after one week his dead body was discovered. It is alleged he was killed by the militia. The Suai parish priest has reported that as of April 23 his body was still lying in a field where he was killed. The family had not been able to retrieve the body for fear of being targeted by the militia.

The following are the names of 12 other East Timorese civilians who are believed to have been killed. Amaro (no surname), Amaro de Araujo, Domingos (no surname) Jose (no surname) Aurelio (no surname) Emilio (no surname) Mateus Araujo, Daniel (no surname) Amaro (no surname) Jorge dos Reis, Celistino (no surname) Felix (no surname) Marcal (no surname). Further information surrounding the killings of these people has yet to be confirmed.

An ETHRC source has confirmed that on 9 April, 5 students, Natalino de Jesus, Cosme Freitas, Victor Gomes, Marcel (no surname), Abrao do Nacimento, who were attending the University of East Timor (UNTIM), were attacked and severely beaten with fists, blocks of wood and rifle butts by members of the Laksaur (LMP) and Mahidi militia. The students were attending a compulsory social work project as part of their training. The militias were conducting an operation throughout Zumalai sub-district to Beko village in the Suai district when this incident occurred. Two of the militias who attacked the students have been identified as Lino Lopes and Jaime. It is believed that all of the students, except Marcel, were attacked because of their political activities at UNTIM.

The ETHRC is seriously concerned for the whereabouts of two other students, Joao Soares Ximenes and Bernardino Simao, who were allegedly kidnapped by the paramilitary group Mahidi on 9 April. The students were on their way back from the Public Health Centre in Suai where they were to start their social work. It is believed they were targeted for their political activities on the UNTIM campus. Despite internal steps taken to locate them, their whereabouts is unknown.

Since the above incidents in the Suai district, the ETHRC has received an unconfirmed report that a large number of bodies have been dumped into the Salele pond at the Salele military post. The ETHRC is still investigating this report.

Ermera District

On 20 April, in the village of Maluskiik, sub-district of Railaco, local sources suspected that members of the Besi Merah Putih and members of ABRI assassinated the village head, Bartolomeus. An ETHRC source has confirmed that Bartolomeus was at his home on the night when he was called outside. Once outside people standing in the dark shot him. Bartolomeus was known to have connections with Falintil and supplied the guerrillas with logistical information and medicine. It is also reported that on 22 April two farmers, Antonio Borromeu and Carlito (no surname), from the village Hatolia, were killed by Battalion Territorial Troops (BTT). It was noted that these killings occurred the day after the Peace Agreement was signed by General Wiranto and representatives of different groups. With these killings, the local farmers of Hatolia are now too afraid to tend their land.

Bobonaro

Between 15 and 17 April members of Halilintar militia terrorised civilians and destroyed property in the hamlet of Ailoklaran-Lores, village Aidabalete, sub-district of Atabe, Bobonaro district. Five victims of the violence have been identified. Jose Guterres, 35 years, a teacher at the elementary school in the hamlet of Ailoklaran-Lores sustained severe injuries when he was slashed with a machete on his right shoulder and stabbed in the stomach with a knife. Manuel Mendes, 45 years and the village head of Aidabalete, also a Head Sergeant in the Indonesian army, was beaten with blocks of wood and rifle butts. A motorcycle, money and jewellery were stolen and his house destroyed. Joes Gonzales, 40 years, headmaster of the public elementary school in Ailoklaran-Lores, was beaten, kicked and punched with blocks of wood and rifle butts. As a result of the beating, many of his teeth fell out. Lino Leite, 34 years, from the hamlet of Ailoklaran-Lores, a civil servant at the Bobonaro Office of Social Work was also beaten with blocks of wood and rifle butts. He too had his house destroyed and motorcycle stolen. Anastacio, 30 years and the owner of a small kiosk in the hamlet of Ailoklaran-Lores, was beaten and punched with rifle butts. The militia looted all of the goods in the kiosk. It is believed these victims were targets of violence because they were suspected of supplying Falintil with information and medicine.

Background Information

The above incidents are part of the on-going campaign of terror and victimisation of the East Timorese people at the hands of the militia and the Indonesian army. This latest campaign follows on from the incidents in Liquica and Dili earlier in April. An ETHRC source has confirmed that tension in Liquica is still very high. The militia is reported to have set up many posts to control the people in the town and more than ten militia posts have also been set up along the road from Liquica to Dili. A number of refugees are staying in different places, one of which is SMA Kristal Liquica (a school run by the Catholic Church). All the men in Liquica are now required to report to KODIM (District Military Command) every day and are forced by the military and militia to clean up the streets around the military headquarters. The men are reported to being treated like prisoners. The local priest is also required to ask permission to celebrate Mass in Liquica.

Another disturbing situation has been reported to the ETHRC, that between 5,000-6,000 refugees in Sare, who have been fleeing the killings and intimidation, have not received aid since the end of March. Sare is located in rugged mountainous terrain on the border of Ermera. It is believed that the Battalion Territorial Troops (BTT) and the local militia group Naga Merah (Red Dragon) are working together to block humanitarian aid organisations from delivering food or medicine.

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

* Expressing concern at the escalation of violence in East Timor, in particular, the violations perpetrated by civilian militia groups which have been armed and trained by the Indonesian military; * Expressing particular concern at the recent human rights violations perpetrated by members of the para-military groups and military, in Suai, Bobonaro and Ermera; * Seeking clarification of the exact whereabouts of Joao Soares Ximenes and Bernardino Simao; * Calling for the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial executions to visit East Timor to investigate the killings; * Calling for immediate and continuing access to be allowed to all areas of East Timor for UN human rights monitors and international and local human rights organisations, in order to provide ongoing human rights monitoring, and in particular to conduct a full and impartial investigation of the recent human rights violations in Suai, Bobonaro and Ermera; * Requesting the government of Indonesia to take steps to immediately disarm all civilian militia groups in East Timor, and, * Requesting that the Indonesian Government conduct an inquiry into the killings in Suai and Ermera and that the perpetrators are brought to justice by the full weight of the law.

SEND APPEALS TO:

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: habibie@ristek.go.id

2. 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

3. MINISTER FOR DEFENCE FORCES General Wiranto Menteri Pertahanan Keamanan RI Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No 13-14 Jakarta 10110 INDONESIA Telephone: +62 21 366 184 Fax: +62 21 3845 178

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

5. MILITARY COMMANDER REGION IX/UDAYANA (includes East Timor) Major General Adam Damiri Pangdam IX/Udayana Markas Besar KODAM IX/Udayana Denpasar, Bali INDONESIA Telephone: +62 361 228 095 Telegrams: Pangdam IX/Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Please also send appeals to:

* 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 July 1,1999

Back to May Menu
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu
June '98 through February '99