Subject: AI UA077/99 EAST TIMOR Arbitrary detention
Date: 14 Apr 99 19:21:47 -0400
From: UA E-Mail Incoming <>

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PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/25/99 14 April 1999

UA 77/99 Arbitrary detention/fear of torture/fear for safety

EAST TIMOR Manuel Magalhaes, civil servant Rafael, 27 Jose de Andrade

Amnesty International is seriously concerned for the safety of Manuel Magalhaes and Rafael, arrested in separate incidents on 12 April 1999. Manuel Magalhaes is in police custody in Maliana, Bobonaro District, and Rafael's whereabouts are unknown. Both men are at risk of torture, and there are grave fears for their safety.

Manuel Magalhaes, a member of the pro-independence Conselho Nacional da Resistencia Timorense, National Council for Timorese Resistance (CNRT), and former Bobonaro Public Works District Head, was arrested along with seven other men on 12 April 1999 during a joint action by the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) and a paramilitary unit called Halilintar in Maliana Sub-district, Bobonaro. During the operation several houses were destroyed by the security forces, including those of the eight men taken into custody.

The seven other men have since been released. One of them, Jose de Andrade, was reportedly beaten unconscious in custody, and needed hospital treatment upon his release.

The same day, Rafael, from Malilait village in Bobonaro Sub-district, Bobonaro District, was reportedly arrested at the Tunu Bibi-Maliana bus terminal. It is believed that ABRI soldiers from the Bobonaro Military Command were involved in the arrest.


The human rights situation in East Timor has deteriorated rapidly in the last two weeks and supporters of independence, particularly those known to be members of the CNRT, are at serious risk of human rights violations.

Paramilitary units established with the backing and support of ABRI have been targeting civilian supporters of East Timorese independence. During their operations - often carried out jointly with ABRI - supporters of independence have been intimidated, arbitrarily arrested, ill-treated, and unlawfully killed.

On 6 April paramilitaries are reported to have killed between 30 and 57 people who had sought refuge in the compound of a parish church in Liquisa, west of Dili. They were forced out of the compound by tear gas, fired by Brimob, Police Mobile Brigades, and then attacked by the paramilitaries with knives, machetes and guns. The authorities have prevented an independent investigation of the events, and are believed to have already destroyed vital evidence in the church compound.

In recent weeks the paramilitaries have increasingly threatened human rights organizations, foreign and domestic journalists and humanitarian workers. The authorities and paramilitary units are preventing human rights organizations from travelling to investigate reports of human rights violations.

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

- urging the authorities to clarify the whereabouts of Manuel Magalhaes and the charges he faces, and urging that he be immediately and unconditionally released if he is not to be charged with a recognisably criminal offence;

- seeking assurances that he will not be tortured or ill-treated, and urging that he be allowed access to legal counsel, his family and medical assistance;

- urging the authorities to investigate the fate and whereabouts of Rafael;

- urging the authorities to investigate allegations that Jose de Andrade was beaten unconscious in custody;

- urging the authorities to investigate the killings which took place in Liquisa on 6 April and to ensure that human rights organizations have full and unhindered access to the area.

APPEALS TO: (Time difference = GMT + 7 hrs / BST + 6 hrs)

Minister of Defence and Security:

Gen. Wiranto [Salutation: Dear Minister] Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.13-14 Jakarta 10110 Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 381 4535/ 384 5178

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


Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Ali Alatas S.H. [Salutation: Dear Minister] Menteri Luar Negeri Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No.6 Jakarta Indonesia Fax: +62 21 380 5511/345 7782/ 360 541/ 724 5354

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after 26 May 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:

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