Subject: AI UA 50/99 EAST TIMOR Fear for safety/risk of torture
Date: 19 Mar 99 16:54:56 -0500
From: UA E-Mail Incoming <>

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PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/20/99 19 March 1999

UA 50/99 Fear for safety/Risk of torture or ill-treatment


11 people wounded - names unknown 3 possible detainees - names unknown

At least 11 East Timorese civilians were reportedly shot and wounded by Indonesian soldiers on the evening of 18 March 1999. The soldiers had just recovered the bodies of two other soldiers believed to have been killed by supporters of East Timorese independence, and the shootings are believed to have been in revenge for their deaths.

The two soldiers, Sergeant Katamir and First Corporal Nasikun, were abducted from a bus in Vemasse sub-district on 6 March. Their bodies were found in Bucoli village, Vemasse sub-district, on 18 March. Soldiers transporting the bodies from there to the capital, Dili, apparently first fired shots into the air and then, as they approached and entered Dili, began to shoot directly at people by the road.

There are unconfirmed reports that three East Timorese have been arrested in connection with the soldiers' deaths. If so, they would be at serious risk of torture or ill-treatment in detention.


The Indonesian and Portuguese governments have been negotiating the future of East Timor at the United Nations. As progress has been made on a diplomatic level in the last few months, the situation in the territory has become increasingly tense.

On 27 January 1999 the Indonesian Government announced that if the East Timorese rejected the autonomy package being negotiated by the two governments, it would give up its claim to the territory and allow it to become independent.

In the meantime, the Indonesian security forces continue to carry out "disappearances", arbitrary detentions and torture.The government's statement on possible independence has led to more confrontations, sometimes violent, between pro- and anti-independence groups.

Pro-integration paramilitary groups which have been armed by the Indonesian armed forces have also detained, tortured and killed their opponents. In the last week nuns at a convent in the town of Maurai in Liquisa sub-district have received death threats from members of a paramilitary group because they have been providing food and shelter to internal refugees fleeing these groups.

On the other side, there are reports of East Timorese who support integration with Indonesia and Indonesian settlers in East Timor being harassed, intimidated and in some cases violently attacked by supporters of independence .

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

- acknowledging the right of the Indonesian authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the killings of the two soldiers, but urging them to ensure that this is done in accordance with international standards and that anyone detained in connection with the deaths is not tortured;

- urging the authorities to immediately issue orders to stop members of the security forces from taking revenge on civilians for the killing of their colleagues;

- urging the authorities to immediately investigate the shootings of the 11 civilians on 18 March and to bring those responsible to justice.

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

The Head of the Armed Forces

General Wiranto Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.13-14 Jakarta 10110 Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 381 4535/ 384 5178

Commander Resort Military Command (KOREM) 164/Wiradharma (covers East Timor) Colonel Tono Suratman Markas KOREM 164/Wiradharma Dili East Timor, Indonesia Fax/Tel + 62 390 321 624

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



Ali Alatas S.H. Menteri Luar Negeri Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No.6 Jakarta, Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 380 5511/345 7782/ 360 541/ 724 5354 Tlx: 44205; 44469 deplu jkt

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after 30 April 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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