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UA 408/91 - Indonesia / East Timor: Legal concern / fear of torture: Avelino Coelho, Sergio, Francisco Cunha, Antonio Goncalves, Egas Monteiro, Gregorio, Agapito, Joao, Jose Amorin, Joao, Joao Camera Freitas, Jose Luis, Ilidio and others

, Index number: ASA 21/026/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 21/26/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 408/91 Legal Concern/Fear of Torture 22 November 1991
Indonesia/East Timor Avelino Coelho Joao
Sergio Jose Amorin
Francisco Cunha Joao
Antonio Goncalves Joao Camera Freitas
Egas Monteiro Jose Luis
Gregorio Ilidio and others
Dozens of East Timorese youths were detained by police during a peaceful pro-independence
demonstration in Jakarta on 19 November. According to the police, they have been have been
charged with expressing "feelings of hostility, hatred or contempt toward the Indonesian
Government" under Articles 154 and 155 of the Criminal Code. In contravention of the
Indonesian Code of Criminal Procedure (KUHAP), Police authorities have refused the prisoners
access to lawyers and relatives until they have finished interrogating them. Amnesty
International is concerned that this increases the risk that they may be subjected to
ill-treatment or torture.
Amnesty International believes that some or all of those detained may be prisoners of
conscience. It is calling on the Indonesian authorities to release immediately and
unconditionally anyone held solely for their political activities or beliefs and, in the
interim, to grant immediate access to lawyers and relatives to those in detention.
The demonstrators went first to the office of the United Nations Information Office on
Jalan Thamrin. Unable to enter the premises to present a statement addressed to the UN
Secretary General, they instead read it aloud outside the gate. With banners and signs
calling for a referendum on East Timor's political future and for inquiries into the 12
November massacre at Santa Cruz Cemetery, Dili, they proceeded to the Embassies of Japan
and Australia nearby. As they regrouped near the Hotel Indonesia, members of the riot police
(SABHARA) moved in to disperse them and journalists were ordered to leave the vicinity.
The demonstrators began to flee, but were chased by police who beat them with truncheons
and loaded them onto three waiting vehicles. Two foreign journalists at the scene were
taken aside by security forces and questioned about their links to the demonstrators before
being released.
Military authorities initially denied that any demonstrators had been detained, but
independent sources said that at least 35 people, and possibly as many as 70, had been
held at the Metropolitan Jakarta Police Station. Amnesty International has so far learned
the names of 13 (listed above) said to have been held. A team of four human rights advocates
and lawyers who tried to visit the detainees at the Metropolitan Jakarta Police Station
on 22 November, were told by police authorities that they could not do so until the police
had finished interrogating the suspects. The police told them that some of the detainees
might be released within a few days, and that they might be permitted to visit those still
in custody on Monday 25 November, six days after the detainees were arrested.
About 100 people were killed and scores were wounded when Indonesian security forces opened
fire for several minutes on a group of mourners at Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, East Timor
on 12 November 1991. Dozens of others were badly beaten during the incident. The victims,
many of them school students and other young people, were among an estimated 3,000 people
who had gone to the grave of Sebastiao (Gomes) Rangel, a young man killed on 28 October
when Indonesian troops entered the parish church of Motael, Dili, where he and about 20
other political activists had been hiding. At least 42
Page 2 of UA 408/91
people, and possibly as many as 300, have subsequently been detained, and some have reportedly
been tortured and killed in police and military custody. According to one report, between
60 and 80 detainees, including witnesses of the Santa Cruz massacre, were taken from various
prisons in Dili on 15 November, driven to a spot several miles outside the town, shot and
buried in unmarked graves.
These events are only the most recent in a pattern of serious human rights violations by
Indonesian security forces in East Timor since they invaded the former Portuguese colony
in 1975. A pattern of short-term detention, ill-treatment and torture of political detainees
in East Timor has worsened in the last year. More than 400 people have been detained since
late 1988 for their alleged involvement in pro-independence political activities; at least
200 of them since early 1990. Many may be or may have been prisoners of conscience and
many have reportedly been ill-treated or tortured in custody. At least 30 people, and possibly
many more, were killed by Indonesian security forces in 1990 and early 1991 in apparent
extrajudicial executions, and there are hundreds of unresolved cases of "disappearance".
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern that at least 35 and possibly as many 70 East Timorese youths were
held in incommunicado detention in Jakarta after being arrested at a peaceful demonstration;
- expressing concern at police statements that the detainees could not be seen by lawyers
until the police had finished interrogating them;
- urging the authorities to ensure that the detainees are treated humanely while in detention
and allowed proper access to relatives and lawyers;
- stating that the detainees appear to be being held in violation of their right to express
non-violent political views, and that the charges against them appear to be in violation
of international human rights law;
- calling on the government to release all those detained solely for the peaceful expression
of their political views or activities.
1. Minister of Justice:
Let. Ismail Saleh Your Excellency
Jalan Rasuna Said, Kav 6-7
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Jakarta,
Telexes: 44404 DITJENIM IA
Faxes: + 62 21 32 1625
2. Chief of the National Police:
General Kunarto Dear General
Kepala Kepolisian RI
Markas Besar Kepolisian RI
Jl. Trunojoyo 13
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Telegrams: General Kunarto, Kepala
Kepolisian RI, Jakarta,
3. Personal Secretary to Jakarta Chief of
Sespri Kapolda Jaya Dear Letko Tryono S.
Letkol Tryono S.
Markus Besar Kepolisian Jaya
Jakarta, Indonesia
Telegrams: Sespri Kapolda Jaya, Kepala
Kepolisian RI, Jakarta,
4. Director General of Corrections:
Prof Dr Baharuddin Lopa Dear Sir
Department of Justice
Jl. Veteran No. 11, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
Telegrams: Director General of
Corrections, Justice
Department, Jakarta, Indonesia
Faxes: + 62 21 32 1625
Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia
(Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation)
Jl. Diponegoro 74
Jakarta 10320, Indonesia
Jakarta Post (newspaper)
PO Box 85
Jakarta 11001, Indonesia
Faxes: + 62 21 549 2685
and to diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section
office, if sending appeals after 3 January 1992.

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