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Indonesia (East Timor): Further information on fear for safety: The population of East Timor

, Index number: ASA 21/182/1999

The condition of some 200,000 refugees in West Timor is deteriorating as pro-integration militia groups continue to prevent access to humanitarian aid. Reports of abductions, threats and "disappearances" of refugees by pro-integration militias in West Timor continue to be received.

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/182/99
6 October 1999
Further information on EXTRA 127/99 (ASA 21/140/99, 9 September 1999) and
follow-ups (ASA 21/151/99, 14 September 1999 and ASA 21/164/99, 23 September
1999) - Fear for safety
EAST TIMORTens of thousands of East Timorese refugees
The condition of some 200,000 refugees in West Timor is deteriorating as
pro-integration militia groups continue to prevent access to humanitarian aid,
including deliveries of food, medical and other essential supplies.
Reports of abductions, threats and “disappearances” of refugees by
pro-integration militias in West Timor continue to be received. The whereabouts
of six young men abducted by militias in Atambua on 27 September 1999 is still
unknown.
Human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, students and political activists
are among those most at risk of human rights violations and may be prevented
from leaving Indonesia independently.
Elsewhere in Indonesia, including Java, Sumatra, Bali, Flores and Sulawesi,
East Timorese people have been threatened and in some cases attacked including
student activists who fled to the capital Jakarta.
The Indonesian government says these refugees can return to East Timor. At
the same time it has announced the start of a “voluntary” selection process
for up to 100,000 East Timorese refugees willing to be relocated within
Indonesia, under a government transmigration scheme. Amnesty International
is concerned that continued intimidation by militia groups means that the
refugees are not in a position to freely consent to relocate in Indonesia or
to return to East Timor. There are reports that some refugees in West Timor
have been denied food because they expressed a desire to return to East Timor.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send faxes/express/airmail letters in
English or Bahasa Indonesia or in your own language:
- expressing concern at continued reports of human rights violations, including
abductions, threats and “disappearances” of refugees by pro-integration
militias in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia;
- urging the Indonesian authorities to protect East Timorese refugees in West
Timor and other parts of Indonesia from threats and attacks by the militias,
the Indonesian National Army (TNI) and the police;
- requesting that they grant UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies full and
unimpeded access to refugees in West Timor to give humanitarian assistance;
- urging them to ensure that refugees are able to exercise their rights, in
accordance with international human rights standards;
- calling additionally on the Minister of Transmigration to halt implementation
of the transmigration project until it can be demonstrated that conditions
exist for refugees to make their decision freely with effective monitoring
by UNHCR and other independent agencies.
APPEALS TO:
General Wiranto
Minister of Defence and Security
Menteri Pertahanan dan Keamanan
2
J1. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 13/14
Jakarta 10110
Indonesia
Faxes:+ 62 21 381 4535 / 384 5178
Salutation:Dear General
Abdullah Moch. Hendropriyono
Minister of Transmigration
Menteri Transmigrasi
Jl. Taman Makam Pahlawan
Kalibata No. 17
Jakarta 12740
Indonesia
Faxes:+ 62 21 798 9894 (you may have problems getting through by fax)
Salutation:Dear Minister
General Roesmanhadi
Chief of National Police
Kapolri
Markas Besar Kepolisian RI
Jl. Trunojoyo 13
Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan
Indonesia
Faxes:+ 62 21 720 7277
Salutation:Dear General
COPIES TO:
Top Priority: The Indonesian Embassy in your country
Other options:
- Your own government (foreign affairs ministry or local elected
representatives)
- Your local newspaper, asking the editor to publicize your concerns
- Your friends, family and work/student colleagues, asking them to send an
appeal.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 3 November 1999.

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