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Indonesia / East Timor: fear of arbitrary detention / fear of torture: Helder, Bento Ximenes, Fernando Maia, Abilio, Virgilio, Constancio, Angelo, Isidoro, Domingos and six unnamed youths in Baucau

, N° d'index: ASA 21/039/1995

At least 10 people have been arrested following disturbances, sometimes violent, in East Timor during the past three weeks. Another five East Timorese youths may face arrest in relation to these incidents. AI recognizes the right of the authorities to bring to justice those responsible for acts of violence. However, AI fears that those detained ma be ill-treated or tortured in incommunicado detention, and that the violence may be used as a pretext to arrest and imprison non-violent pro-independence activists.

EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 21/39/95
UA 196/95 Fear of arbitrary detention / Fear of torture 10 August 1995
EAST TIMOR Helder
Bento Ximenes
Fernando Maia
Abilio
Virgilio
Constancio
Angelo
Isidoro
Domingos
and six unnamed youths in Baucau
At least 10 people have been arrested following disturbances, sometimes violent,
in East Timor during the past three weeks. Another five East Timorese youths
may face arrest in relation to these incidents. Amnesty International
recognizes the right of police authorities to detain and bring to justice those
responsible for acts of violence; however, it fears that those detained may
be ill-treated or tortured in incommunicado detention, and that the authorities
may use the violence as a pretext to arrest and imprison non-violent
pro-independence activists.
Four East Timorese youths - Helder, Bento Ximenes, Fernando Maia and Abilio
- were arrested following disturbances on 30 July 1995 in the town of Ermera,
65 kilometres west of the East Timorese capital Dili, in which demonstrators
were ostensibly protesting against low coffee commodity prices. The four are
reported to be currently held in different prisons in the town. Five others
youths - Virgilio, Constancio, Angelo, Isidoro and Domingos, may also face
arrest in relation to the same incident.
Ten days earlier, on 20 July, unrest in the town of Baucau some 130km east
of Dili led to the arrest of at least six people. In a statement to reporters,
Baucau Chief of Police, Colonel Andreas Sugianto said "[w]e have arrested six
people and they will be tried soon after for their crimes". He did not say
what the six would be charged with or where they are being detained.
Other sources indicate that the number of people arrested in both Baucau and
Ermera may be higher.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since November 1994, there have been increased, and sometimes violent,
demonstrations against Indonesia's occupation of East Timor. The authorities
have responded to the demonstrations with arbitrary detention, including
detention of peaceful protesters, beatings, torture and suspected extrajudicial
executions. Over 100 East Timorese were arrested following November
demonstrations and 27 people are currently believed to be facing trial for
their alleged role in these demonstrations. Between two and five people were
killed in Baucau in January this year when Indonesian troops opened fire in
an attempt to quell riots in the town. Concern for those arrested in recent
weeks in Ermera and Baucau is heightened by reports that some of those detained
following the November demonstrations were beaten in military detention and
several were allegedly subjected to electric shocks. They were also reportedly
denied access to lawyers and their families.
2
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/express/airmail letters in Bahasa
Indonesia or your own language:
- urging the Indonesian authorities to provide details of the whereabouts of
all those detained in recent weeks, as well as any charges that are to be brought
against them;
- urging that they be immediately and unconditionally released, unless they
are charged with recognisably criminal offences under existing laws;
- calling for all possible measures to be taken to ensure the safety of the
detainees;
- calling on the authorities to allow access for those in detention to the
International Committee of the Red Cross, lawyers and their families.
APPEALS TO:
CHIEF OF POLICE FOR EAST TIMOR
Lt. Col. Sugianto Andreas
Kapolda Timor Timur
Dili, East Timor (Indonesia)
Telegrams: Kapolda Timor Timur, Dili, East Timor
Salutation: Dear Lieutenant-Colonel
MILITARY COMMANDER REGION IX/UDAYANA
(covers Bali, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara and East Timor)
Brig. Gen. R. Adang Ruchiatna
Pangdam IX/Udayana
Markas Besar KODAM IX Udayana
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Telegrams: Pangdam IX/Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Saluations: Dear Brigadier-General
COPIES TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ali Alatas SH
Menteri Luar Negeri
Jl Medan Taman Pejambon No 6
Jakarta, Indonesia
Faxes: (62 21) 36 0517
Chair of the National Commission on Human Rights
Ali Said SH
Ketua Komisi Nasional Hak Azasi Manusia
Jalan Veteran No 11
Jakarta, Indonesia
Faxes: (C/- Ministry of Justice) (62 21) 314 1625
and 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 28 September 1995.

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