Subject: AI UA 117/99 EAST TIMOR Fear for safety
Date: 24 May 99 18:00:44 -0400
From: UA E-Mail Incoming <>

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PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/44/99 24 May 1999

UA 117/99 Fear for safety / fear of torture and ill-treatment


Luis Avarisdo Lopes

Luis Avarisdo Lopes was arrested on 24 May 1999 in Dili by "a local leader" of the eastern part of Dili. He was subsequently handed over to the Military Intelligence Unit (Satuan Tugas Intelijen, SGI) in Dili, where Amnesty International is concerned that he is at risk of torture.

Luis Avarisdo Lopes is an internally displaced person (IDP) who had fled to Dili. The night before his arrest paramilitaries burned down two houses in Metiaut, the district of Dili where he was arrested. Paramilitary units had also been active in the area on Sunday 16 May when 10 houses were reportedly burnt down.


Since early April, paramilitary groups, supported by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), have carried out arbitrary detentions, torture and unlawful killings during violent attacks in several towns across East Timor, in an attempt to seek out supporters of independence. At least 18, and possibly many more, people were killed in Liquisa on 6 April when paramilitary units - backed up by the TNI - attacked a church where around 2000 local residents had sought refuge from earlier paramilitary assaults.

Since 17 April at least 18 people and possibly many more are believed to have been killed in Dili by paramilitary units. Despite the signing of a peace agreement on 21 April between the TNI, the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), the paramilitaries and the political groups that support integration, the situation in Dili remains tense.

According to reports, at least four independence supporters were killed between 9 and 10 May. There have also been reports of attacks on foreign journalists in Dili: supporters of integration threw stones and shot at foreign journalists near the municipal market on 10 May. Supporters of independence and human rights monitors, many of whom remain in hiding, are still at risk of arrest or violent attacks.

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

- urging the authorities to ensure that Luis Avarisdo Lopes is not tortured or ill-treated;

- urging that he be handed over to the appropriate police authorities and either charged with a recognizable criminal offense under existing laws or immediately released;

- urging that he is given immediate and continuing access to independent legal advisors, his family and to a doctor if necessary.

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


Colonel Tono Suratman [Salutation: Dear Colonel Suratman] Markas KOREM 164/Wiradharma Dili East Timor, Indonesia Fax/Tel: + 62 390 321 624 Telegram: Colonel Suratman, Dili, East Timor

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


MILITARY COMMANDER REGION IX/UDAYANA (covers Bali, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara and East Timor)

Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri Pangdam IX/Udayana Markas Besar KODAM IX/Udayana Denpasar Bali Indonesia


Jusuf Habibie Presiden RI Istana Negara Jl. Veteran Jakarta Pusat Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 526 8726 / 21 380 5511 / 21 345 7782 (via ministry of Foreign Affairs)

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after 5 July 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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