The East Timor Human Rights Centre has received a report from reliable East Timorese sources relating to the suspected extra-judicial execution of four East Timorese men in October 1996. The report states that the four men, who were from the villages of Batara and Cribas in the Manatuto district, were killed on 29 October 1996 by members of the Indonesian military from the Rajawali and Morok battalions.
The four victims have been identified as:
1. Maumesak, 17, from the village of Batara, sub-district of Laclubar, Manatuto district;2. Filomeno Ailos, 30, from the village of Batara;3. Antonio Malae, 40, from the village of Cribas, sub-district and district of Manatuto; and4. Norberto, 40, from the village of Cribas.
It is believed the four were killed while walking to a burial site located in Ailete where they were going to bury the remains of some of the first victims of the 1975 invasion of East Timor by Indonesia. Villagers from Cribas and Batara, who had gathered to collect the remains, were approached by members of the Rajawali and Morok battalions, who were participating in a military drill in the area. The soldeirs threatened twelve of the villagers with death if any of them tried to run away. One youth called Maumesak was shot when he attempted to escape and is believed to have died as a result of the injuries sustained.
Members of the Rajawali and Morok battalions decided to blame Filomeno Ailos for the death of Maumesak and tied him, Antonio Malae and Norberto up against trees and killed them with spears. Another East Timorese man was then taken by members of the Rajawali battalion to the village of Cribas, where he was ordered to inform the local population that Filomeno Ailos, who they alleged was a member of the armed Resistance, was responsible for the killings.
Antara, the Indonesian News Agency reported the official Indonesian military version of the deaths on 4 November. According to the report, the four men were killed by members of the East Timorese armed Resistance.
The ETHRC calls on the Indonesian authorities to conduct a full and impartial investigation into the executions and prosecute those found responsible to the fullest extent of the law.