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Student leader gunned down in Dili

Timorese Democratic Union - July 31, 1998

Sydney – Three Indonesian secret police (SGI) thugs in civilian clothes gunned down East Timorese student leader, Pedro Arazjo, 24, outside his home in Dili early on Thursday, according to Timorese separatist leaders. Family members told how the three gunmen banged on the Arazjo family home door in the Dili suburb of Bairro Pite at about two o'clock in the morning. As Pedro Arazjo stepped outside, they mowed him down with a fusillade of nine shots.

They then radioed waiting police to take Arazjo's bullet riddled body away. Late tonight, police were refusing to return the body to his grieving family.

The President of the Timorese Democratic Union, Joco Carrascalco, tonight called on President B.J. Habibie to order the instant arrest of the three assassins and to take immediate steps to stop the bloodshed. "If President Habibie is genuine about peace in East Timor, he will immediately condemn this killing, order the arrest of the assassins, and have them tried openly under civilian law for the crime of murder. "He will also order an immediate end to the terror in East Timor and he will make that order stick.

"If he does not do that, we will know he either cannot or will not do it. Either way, we and the world will know just how genuine President Habibie is and whether he is truly the President of Indonesia or just a puppet in the hands of the faceless men of the army and intelligence services." Mr Carrascalco said the hearts of Timorese all over the world were with Pedro Arazjo's family tonight. "He was a young man who had shown exceptional leadership qualities in the recent peaceful anti-Indonesian demonstrations. President Habibie should have been seeking him out to talk to him about a peaceful solution in East Timor. "Instead, assassins mercilessly gunned him down on his own doorstep."