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Indonesia / East Timor: Unfair political trial of Xanana Gusmao

, Index number: ASA 21/005/1993

Xanana Gusmao, the East Timorese resistance leader, was sentenced to life imprisonment on 21 May 1993 after a blatantly unfair trial. The District Court of Dili found him guilty of rebellion and illegal possession of arms. There are fears that he may have been ill-treated in pre-trial secret detention, when he was denied access to a lawyer. At the trial itself, his defence appeared to have been inadequately prepared, and prosecution witnesses appear to have been subject to undue pressure from military authorities. His final defence plea was stopped by the presiding judge after just two pages. In his defence plea, which is appended, he states his intention to go on a hunger strike, and there are further fears that he may be in ill-health following recent beatings.

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