Subject: AI UA 121/99 EAST TIMOR Fear for safety
Date: 25 May 99 17:08:37 -0400
From: UA E-Mail Incoming <UA%AI-UK@amnesty.org.uk>

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PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/47/99

25 May 1999

UA 121/99 Fear for safety / possible "disappearance"

EAST TIMOR

Baltazar Barros, 41

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Baltazar Barros, who was seen being arrested at his home in Fatuhada, Dili, on 21 May 1999. His whereabouts are unknown.

It is believed that the paramilitary group Aitarak (Thorn) may have been involved in his arrest.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Since early April, paramilitary groups, supported by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), have carried out arbitrary detentions, torture and unlawful killings during violent attacks in several towns across East Timor, in an attempt to seek out supporters of independence. At least 18, and possibly many more, people were killed in Liquisa on 6 April when paramilitary units - backed up by the TNI - attacked a church where around 2000 local residents had sought refuge from earlier paramilitary assaults.

Since 17 April at least 18 people and possibly many more are believed to have been killed in Dili by paramilitary units. Despite the signing of a peace agreement on 21 April between the TNI, the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), the paramilitaries and the political groups that support integration, the situation in Dili remains tense.

According to reports, at least four independence supporters were killed between 9 and 10 May. There have also been reports of attacks on foreign journalists in Dili: supporters of integration threw stones and shot at foreign journalists near the municipal market on 10 May. Supporters of independence and human rights monitors, many of whom remain in hiding, are still at risk of arrest or violent attacks.

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

- urging the authorities to establish the whereabouts of Baltazar Barros;

- urging the authorities to clarify any charges brought against Baltazar Barros, and urging that he be immediately and unconditionally released if he is not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence;

- urging that he be given immediate, regular and continuing access to independent legal advice, his family, and a doctor if necessary;

- urging the authorities to prevent the arrest of supporters of independence by either paramilitary or military units;

- calling on the authorities to disarm and disband all paramilitary units.

APPEALS TO (Time difference = GMT + 7 hrs / BST + 6 hrs) (please note that fax tones can be difficult to obtain during certain times):

Minister of Defence and Security

Gen. Wiranto [Salutation:Dear Minister] Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Jl. Medan Merdeka Jakarta 10110 Indonesia Telegrams: General Wiranto, Jakarta, Indonesia Faxes: + 62 21 381 4535 / 384 5178

COMMANDER RESORT MILITARY COMMAND (KOREM) 164/WIRADHARMA (covers East Timor)

Colonel Tono Suratman [Salutation: Dear Colonel Suratman] Markas KOREM 164/Wiradharma Dili East Timor, Indonesia Telegrams: Colonel Suratman, East Timor, Indonesia Fax/Tel: + 62 390 321 624

PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: Embassy of Indonesia, 38 Grosvenor Square, London W1X 9AD. Fax: 0171 491 4993

AND, IF POSSIBLE, TO THE FOLLOWING:

Chief of Police for East Timor

Col. GM Timbul Silaen Kapolda Timor Timur Dili East Timor

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after 6 July 1999.


If you have any queries about this Urgent Action or about + + the UA scheme in general, please contact: + + Ray Mitchell / Becky Hess + + Amnesty International UK Section + + 99 - 119 Rosebery Avenue + + London EC1R 4RE email: ua@amnesty.org.uk

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