Subject: Media Release Oecusse: further killings

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: Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin Director: Ana Noronha _______________________________________________

Media Release 4 October 1999 Oecusse: further killings in the forgotten enclave _______________________________________________

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) has received reports that an unconfirmed number of East Timorese were killed on Saturday October 2, in the village of Cutete, Oecusse district. The village was also destroyed in the attack. It is alleged that Sakunar ("ninja"-like militia who operate with faces covered up) and Besi Merah Putih militia were involved.

It has also been confirmed that at least 700 refugees are in the care of the only Catholic priest left in Cutete. The priest's residence was left untouched in the attack. All other clergy in the village have fled to West Timor.

Oecusse is the western-most pocket of East Timor, isolated from the mass of East Timor by Indonesian territory. The ETHRC is concerned that this area of East Timor has not, as yet, been targeted by the INTERFET forces to be secured, and that there has been little aid reaching the Oecusse district.

The ETHRC repeats its calls for:
· calls for an INTREFET presence and humanitarian aid in Oecuesse;
· the immediate arrest of Indonesian military, police and military-backed militia responsible for human rights violations;
· the evacuation of East Timorese people wishing to leave West Timor and the rest of Indonesia, and the establishment of additional safe havens needed to accommodate them;
· independent forensic experts to be immediately dispatched to East Timor to ensure the adequate and scientific investigation of killing sites;
· the independence and credibility of the international investigative panel to be safeguarded by the United Nations;
· immediate humanitarian aid to East and West Timor;
· immediate and unrestricted access to be allowed to all areas of East Timor for UN human rights monitors, 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 violations committed by Indonesian military, police and militia.

For more information, contact Ana Noronha, Executive Director, East Timor Human Rights Centre, on 0414 353 016. End.

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