Subject: AI UA 106/99 EAST TIMOR Fear for safety
Date: 12 May 99 18:56:56 -0400
From: UA E-Mail Incoming <>

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PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/40/99 12 May 1999

UA 106/99 Fear for safety/ possible "disappearance"


Agostinho Amaral, 24 Cesaltina (f), Olandina Maria Caetano (f), Elda Maria Caetano (f), Lita (f), Julia (f), Zelia Guterres (f), Maria Julia Guterres (f) Afonso Guterres

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Agostinho Amaral, a student at the University of East Timor (Untim), and the eight other people from the Santa Cruz area of Dili named above.

Police officers and members of the Indonesian armed services (TNI, formerly known as ABRI) reportedly detained Agostinho Amaral at his home in the Quintal district of Aileu City, south of Dili, at 7am on 11 May 1999, and took him to an unknown destination.

Representatives of Amaral's local church made inquiries about him at the local police headquarters (Polres) and at the local military command (Kodim) in Aileu, but were given no information about his whereabouts or whether he had been formally arrested. There are grave concerns that he is at risk of ill-treatment, torture or "disappearance".

The eight people named above were reportedly taken from their homes in the Santa Cruz district of Dili by paramilitaries in a separate incident on 10 May, and their whereabouts are not known. Seven are female and three are believed to be children (siblings). When asked about the incident, local police denied knowledge of them.


Since early April, paramilitary groups, supported by the 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 prevent the arrest of supporters of independence by either paramilitary or military units;

- calling on the authorities to conduct full and impartial investigations into the incidents detailed above;

- urging the authorities to take measures to ensure the safety of all those taken into custody;

- calling on the authorities to disarm and disband all paramilitary units.

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


Gen. Wiranto [Salutation: Dear Minister] Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan Jl. Medan Merdeka Jakarta 10110 Indonesia Fax: + 62 21 381 4535 / 384 5178 Telegram: General Wiranto, Jakarta, Indonesia

Commander Resort Military Command (KOREM) 164/Wiradharma (covers East Timor)

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

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


President 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 23 June 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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