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Indonesia (East Timor): Fear for safety

, Index number: ASA 21/165/1999

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Joao Quintas, Dioniso de Jesus and Leonio Guterres whose whereabouts are unknown. Joao Quintas and Dioniso de Jesus were abducted by a militia group on 11 September 1999. Leonio Guterres, a refugee from East Timor, was detained as he was leaving a refugee site in Kefamenanu town, West Timor.

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/165/99
EXTRA 134/99 Fear for safety 23 September 1999
INDONESIAJoao Quintas
Dioniso de Jesus
Leonio Guterres
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of the three men named above,
whose whereabouts are unknown.
Joao Quintas and Dioniso de Jesus are local staff members of the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Atambua District, West Timor. They were
abducted by a militia group on 11 September 1999. There has been no news of
them since.
Leonio Guterres, a refugee from East Timor, was detained as he was leaving
a refugee site in Kefamenanu town, West Timor with his family. He was believed
to be in detention at KODIM (District Military Command), but it is not clear
whether he is still held there. There are grave concerns for his safety.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Pro-Indonesian militias are operating with impunity in West Timor, and are
conducting searches in the refugee camps for independence supporters, human
rights defenders, priest and nuns. Amnesty International has received reports
that Indonesian soldiers are also involved in these operations. Several
independence supporters have been threatened and killed; the fate and
whereabouts of scores of others is unknown.
Tens of thousands of East Timorese have been forcibly evacuated to West Timor
by the Indonesian army and the pro-Indonesian militias. Access to the camps by
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) staff, other humanitarian
agencies and independent monitors has been severely limited. Conditions in the
camps are precarious, with food and water supplies limited and very little medical
care. On 22 September 1999 the Indonesian authorities agreed to allow UNHCR access
to the camps, but this has yet to take place.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters
in Indonesian, English or your own language:
- urging the authorities to establish the whereabouts of Joao Quintas, Dioniso
de Jesus and Leonio Guterres and to take immediate measures to guarantee their
security;
- urging the authorities to launch an immediate investigation, with a view to
bringing the perpetrators to justice;
- urging the Indonesian authorities to grant full, secure and unimpeded access
to the refugee camps to UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies;
- urging the authorities to immediately disarm and disband the militias and urging
that all Indonesian soldiers and police in West Timor are under clear instructions
to ensure the refugees are protected and not subjected to threats, harassment
or physical harm.
APPEALS TO:
President Jusuf Habibie
Presiden RI
Istana Negara
Jl. Veteran
Jakarta Pusat
2
Indonesia
Telegrams: President Habibie, Jakarta, Indonesia
Fax: + 62 21 526 8726 / +62 21 380 5511/+62 21 345 7782/ (via Ministry of Foreign
Affairs)
Telex: 44283 BIGRA IA; 44469 DEPLU IA
Salutation:Dear President Habibie
MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND SECURITY / COMMANDER OF THE ARMED FORCES (TNI)
Gen. Wiranto
Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.13-14
Jakarta 10110
Indonesia
Telegrams:Minister of Defence and Security, Jakarta, Indonesia
Fax: + 62 21 381 4535/ 384 5178 (Fax numbers in Indonesia can be difficult to
get through to. Please keep trying.)
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Diplomatic representatives of Indonesia accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or
your section office, if sending appeals after 7 October 1999.

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