Subject: UA/1199 Priests/Nuns Killed URGENT ACTION
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 1999 21:40:28 -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: Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin Director: Ana Noronha

URGENT ACTION 8 September 1999

NAMES: Bishop Basilio Nascimento ) Injured/ property destruction

Fr Hilario Pereira, Catholic Priest ) Fr Francisco Soares, Catholic Priest ) Deaths confirmed 1 Unidentified Catholic Priest

Fr Luis Bonaparte ) Believed to be killed

Sr Margarida, Catholic Nun ) Deaths 3 Catholic Nuns (unidentified) ) confirmed

VIOLATIONS: Extra-judicial execution/ serious injury/destruction of property

LOCATION: Baucau, Suai, Fatumaca, Dili, East Timor

Ref: UA/1199

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) is gravely concerned with the deteriorating situation in East Timor. The ETHRC has received reliable information that today, September 8, Bishop Basilio was stabbed in the hand by militia while trying to protect refugees who were seeking refuge in the Bishop's house. It was also reported that his house was burnt and destroyed. The Bishop has since safely fled Baucau with Salesian priests. Information about the refugees has yet to be confirmed.

The ETHRC has received confirmation from reliable sources that on Wednesday morning, September 8, Sr Margarida, a Canossian nun, was killed in the Lecidere Church in Dili. Also, that three Catholic priests, Fr Hilario, Fr Francisco Soares, an unidentified priest and 3 unidentified Catholic nuns, who were living in Suai, were executed. It has also been reported that Fr Luis Bonaparte was allegedly killed. These killings reportedly took place between Monday September 6 and Wednesday, September 8. ETHRC is making every effort to confirm the exact day. In the town of Fatumaca, the Catholic Salesian college was also destroyed by militias. It was reported that most of the Suai city was burned.

ETHRC's reliable sources have confirmed that Catholic establishments in Dili have been systematically attacked by militia. The following are the names of the establishments that have been burnt: Franciscan Convent in Taibesi, Salesian College in Comoro, Dili, the SVD Convent in Kuluhun, Dili, the Nuns Convent in Kuluhun, Dili the Cathedral in Dili, Moatel Church in Dili, the Seminary, Balide, Dili.

The pattern of violence against the spiritual leaders of East Timor and the other priests and nuns is extremely worrying. The Catholic Church holds a special place in East Timor in that it was always able to provide protection for East Timorese civilians who were experiencing violence or intimidation. The Catholic Church was seen as a sanctuary. But now, the last line of protection and the international voice for the East Timorese is swiftly being destroyed.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send faxes/telegrams/express/airmail letters in English, Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:
* expressing outrage at the attack on Bishop Basilio Nacimento and the destruction of his house;
* expressing outrage that the extra-judicial execution of the 4 Catholic priests, Fr Hilario, Fr Luis, the unidentified priest, Sr Margarida and the unidentified nuns;
* calling on foreign Embassies in Jakarta to provide sanctuary for East Timorese who are seeking protection there;
* calling for the United Nations to immediately take up its responsibility for East Timor and send forces to protect the East Timorese people, as Indonesia has forfeited the right to further involvement in East Timor;
* calling on the Australian, New Zealand, United States and other governments to immediately send an armed force to East Timor to protect the East Timorese people, with or without UN participation; and
* 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 particular to conduct a full and impartial investigation of the recent violations committed by military backed militia.


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 Mohamed Noer Muis Markas KOREM 164/Wiradharma Dili East Timor Faxes: +62 390 21 624 Telegrams: Colonel Muis, 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

6. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anan New York, NY 10017 USA Fax: 1 212 963 2155 E-mail: Or:

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 October 20, 1999. End.

Back to September Menu
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu