Subject: ETHRC UA 7/99: Violations against women
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 1999 19:11:24 -1000
From: ethrc <>

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: Interim Director: Ms Kathleen Maltzahn Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin


NAMES: Marta Fatima Ivonia Ribeiro Virgina Sarmento Ermelinda da Conceicao Genobeva (no surname) Agusta (no surname) Justina Santa Etelvina Ribeiro Gracilda Varela Teresa Varela Anita Lemos Elvira (no surname)

VIOLATIONS: Ill-Treatment/Sexual Abuse/Arbitrary Detention

LOCATIONS: Ulmera Village, Bazartete Sub-District, Liquica, East Timor

Ref: UA 7/99

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) is gravely concerned for the lives and well-being of the above-mentioned East Timorese women.

Marta Fatima, Ivonia Ribeiro, Virgina Sarmento, Ermelinda da Conceicao, Genobeva (no surname), Agusta (no surname), Justina Santa, Etelvina Ribeiro, Gracilda Varela, and Teresa Varela were arrested between 17 and 18 May because their husbands were accused of joining the East Timorese resistance movement after the 5 April 1999 Liquica Massacre (see ETHRC UN 2/99). Anita Lemos and Elvira (no surname) were arrested on 31 May 1999 at Ulmera village. It is believed that the head of the village of Ulmera, Paustino (no surname) gave orders to arrest the women.

According to reliable ETHRC sources, the twelve women have been detained and subject to continued forced labour from the Indonesian Armed Forces backed militia group entitled Besi Merah Putih (BMP). Amnesty International has also been informed that the women have apparently been subject to sexual abuse. All twelve women are held hostage at the houses of two teachers, Geraldo Ribeiro and Manuel Soares, who are brothers. The BMP has stated that the women must present their husbands to the BMP by 4 June 1999, or the women will be killed. The ETHRC has been unable to verify their current condition.

The ETHRC has received unconfirmed reports of the women's children also being held hostage. The ETHRC has confirmed that the women have a total of 24 children, however, their whereabouts is undetermined. The possibility of the children being detained is currently under investigation by the ETHRC.

These twelve women are subjects of a continued wave of numerous separate attacks throughout East Timor. The BMP and other groups sponsored by the Indonesian Armed Forces have relentlessly pursued supporters of East Timorese independence. These supporters and their families are repeatedly subject to arbitrary detention, physical abuse, and extrajudicial execution.

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

* Expressing concern that the above 12 women have been arbitrarily detained and subject to physical and sexual abuse, and calling for their immediate unconditional release; * Expressing particular concern at the recent human rights violations perpetrated by members of the Besi Merah Putih, in the village of Ulmera; * Calling for 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 particularly to conduct a full and impartial investigation of the recent violations committed by military backed armed militia; and * Calling on the government of Indonesia to take steps to immediately disarm all civilian militia groups in East Timor and to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations to the fullest extent of the law.


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. 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 20, 1999

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