Subject: OMCT Case IDN/TMP 080699.VAW/East Timor/Violence against women
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 18:23:58 +0200
From: "OMCT" <> Organization: OMCT


The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in East Timor/Indonesia.

Brief descrption of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has just been informed of the grave concerns for 12 women in East Timor.

According to the East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC), member of the OMCT network, between the 17th and the 18th of May 1999, the following 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. The reasons behind the arrest seem related to their husbands’ apparent adherence to the East Timorese resistance movement after the 5 April 1999 Liquica Massacre (see Appeal Case IDN/TMP 120499).

In another case, on 31 May 1999, 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 the order to arrest the women.

According to the ETHRC, the twelve women have been detained and subjected to continued forced labour by the Indonesian Armed Forces backed militia group entitled Besi Merah Putih (BMP). Additional sources have suggested that the women have apparently been subjected to sexual abuse.

According to the information, all twelve women are being held as hostages at the houses of two teachers, Geraldo Ribeiro and Manuel Soares. The BMP apparently threatened that if the women did not deliver their husbands to the BMP by 4 June 1999, then they would be killed.

Despite considerable efforts, the ETHRC has no further information on their current situation and there are serious grounds for fearing for their physical and psychological integrity.

There are unconfirmed reports that the women's children are also being held hostage. The women have 24 children between them and their whereabouts are to date unknown.

Action requested

Please write to the Indonesian authorities urging them to:

i. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the above mentioned women and order their immediate release;

ii ensure free and adequate medical care should it be necessary and appropriate restitution, compensation, and rehabilitation;

iii.guarantee an impartial and exhaustive inquiry into the aforementioned incidents, identify those responsible, particularly the paramilitary groups involved in, bring them to trial, and apply the penal, civil, and/or administrative sanctions provided by law, in accordance with international standards;

iv. take the appropriate and immediate measures to stop human rights violations in East Timor;

v. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards;


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:

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

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

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)

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

Diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country

Geneva, 8 June 1999

Kindly inform us of any action taken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT) World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT) 37-39 Rue de Vermont Case postale 119 CH-1211 Geneve 20 CIC Suisse/Switzerland Tel. : 0041 22 733 31 40 Fax : 0041 22 733 10 51 E-mail :

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