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Horta reports Timor clash injuries

Reuters - March 25, 1997

Geneva – East Timor independence leader Jose Ramos Horta, quoting Catholic Church sources on the troubled island, said on Tuesday that Indonesian troops had seriously wounded 18 youths at a weekend demonstration.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, speaking to reporters in Geneva, said he had unconfirmed, conflicting reports from the island's capital Dili that between two and seven people had been killed in the incident at a hotel where a U.N. special envoy was stayin g.

"I have a list of 18 teenagers who were gravely wounded by bullets," Horta told reporters. "I have an additional list of people fully identified, 34 of them, lightly wounded by bayonets or glass from windows breaking."

Referring to the list of 90 who disappeared after the incident, he said: "We presume they are in detention at police and army headquarters. In East Timor, detention automatically means being beaten up and tortured."

Horta, who is due to address the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva early next month, called on the 53-member body to adopt a strongly-worded resolution condemning Jakarta for violations in the former Portuguese colony annexed in 1976.

"If any more evidence was needed for a strongly-worded resolution, this incident under the nose of the U.N. special envoy (Jamsheed Marker) should disperse any doubts."