PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/165/99
EXTRA 134/99 Fear for safety 23 September 1999
Dioniso de Jesus
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
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.
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
- 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.
President Jusuf Habibie