Subject: ETHRC UA 1/99: Urgent situation in East Timor
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 17:34:27 -1000
From: ethrc <>

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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: Director: Ms Maria Brett Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin

URGENT ACTION 27 January 1999

NAMES: Olandino Pereira, 52, farmer ) All Angelina de Jesus, 27, female, house-wife ) believed Luis Pereira, 15, student ) to have been Fernando Cardoso, 27 ) killed

Cipriano (no surname), 25, farmer ) All Alipio (no surname), 15, student ) believed Silverio (no surname), 14, student ) to Rofina (no surname), 12, student ) have Joana (no surname), 13, (female), student ) disappeared Rui (no surname), 16, student )

VIOLATIONS: Extra-judicial Executions / suspected Disappearances / Ill-treatment

LOCATION: Galitas village, Zumalai sub-district, Covalima district, East Timor

Ref: UA 1/99

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) is extremely concerned about the deteriorating situation in East Timor which has resulted in further killings, injuries and disappearances, this time in the south of East Timor in the remote Zumalai sub-district.

At 10.00pm on 25 January 1999, members of the Indonesian military and armed civilian militia groups launched an assault on the village of Galitas, shooting at the local population. It is believed Olandino Pereira, Angelina de Jesus and 15 year old Luis Pereira we shot dead during the assault. Sources have reported that Angelina de Jesus was pregnant at the time she was killed.

Another two people, Adelino Barreto, 40, and Hermenegildo Freitas, 40, both farmers, sustained serious injuries during the assault and are now receiving medical treatment at the Audian Catholic hospital in Santo Paulus. According to an unconfirmed report, another six people, five of them only children, disappeared following the Galitas assault. Their current whereabouts is unconfirmed and ETHRC is taking immediate steps to try to locate them.

Many others have had to flee their homes, holding grave fears for their personal safety. At least two hundred people have fled from the village of Galitas and have sought refuge in churches in Suai.

On 24 January, also in the Zumalai sub-district, Fernando Cardoso is believed to have been killed by members of RATI (a para-military group believed to have been trained and armed by the Indonesian military) and Indonesian military personnel from the marine post at Cassa in Ainaro. Sources have alleged that Fernando's body was severely mutilated and his limbs removed and that he was buried beside the road with his head still exposed.

Further information

In recent months, similar incidents have been occurring in many parts of East Timor. There has been a noticeable increase in violence by local civilian militia groups, which are intimidating and terrorising the East Timorese population. Many civilians are believed to have fled from their homes in Maubara, Alas, Turiscai, Cailaco and Cassa and have fled to Dili, where it is estimated more than 1,000 people have taken refuge.

The Indonesian military has claimed that the escalation of violence in East Timor is nothing to do with the military but that the conflict is between different East Timorese groups, those favouring independence and those favouring integration with Indonesia. However, the involvement of the Indonesian military is quite clear as military forces have initiated assaults on villages in various parts of East Timor, often in conjunction with the civilian militia. Militia groups are also conducting a widespread campaign of terror, with the support of the military. In fact, the Indonesian military is believed to have actually admitted that civilian militia groups have been armed and trained by the Indonesian military (Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 1999).

The ETHRC is receiving reports that armed civilian militia groups are responsible for serious human rights violations. There have also been allegations of violations committed by pro-independence civilian groups, but these reports are still unconfirmed. The ETHRC condemns human rights violations, whether perpetrated by pro-independence or pro-integration groups, and calls on all East Timorese to immediately cease the use of violence and to support the search for a solution to the long-standing East Timor conflict through more peaceful means.

To avoid a further deterioration of the situation in East Timor, there is a clear need for independent human rights monitoring in the territory. However, international human rights organizations are currently denied access to East Timor and UN observers are allowed very limited access. The ETHRC believes full and continuing access to East Timor should be allowed for UN observers and international human rights organisations, including access to areas which are believed to be completely closed to visitors, including local NGOs, because of the escalation of violence.


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 violations perpetrated by members of ABRI and militia groups in the Zumalai sub-district, including the alleged killings of Olandino Pereira, Angelina de Jesus, Luis Pereira and Fernando Cardoso; * Requsting information about the whereabouts of Cipriano (no surname), Alipio (no surname), 15, Silverio (no surname), 14, Rofina, (no surname), 12, Joana, (no surname), 13, Rui, (no surname), 16, all believed to have disappeared in Zumalai sub-district; * Calling for immediate and continuing access to be allowed to all areas of East Timor for UN human rights monitors and international human rights organizations, in order to provide ongoing human rights monitoring, and in particular to conduct a full and impartial investigation of the recent violations in Zumalai; and * Requesting the government of Indonesia to take steps to immediately disarm all civilian militia groups in East Timor.


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:

2. 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)

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


4. 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

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 10 March 1999

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