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Indonesia says Horta's torture claim false

Ruters - April 7, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia said on Monday that Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos Horta's claim that he had fresh evidence of widespread torture in East Timor was "a lot of nonsense."

Horta said on Sunday in Geneva that he would give a video of photographs purportedly showing East Timorese youths being tortured by Indonesian soldiers to the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

"We doubt the (authenticity) of the pictures. It is unclear when they were taken," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ghaffar Fadyl told Reuters.

"This is in conformity with Horta's propaganda...using lies and distortion to discredit Indonesia, especially since he received the Nobel Prize," he added.

Horta also said: "It (the video of the photographs) shows a pattern of systematic, gross, widespread human rights violations. If anything, it shows it is not isolated... This is evidence of a pattern of the most brutal kind."

Fadyl said that Horta's statement was full of nonsense. "This is a lot of nonsense, which he repeats from time to time...and which we are bored of listening to," he added.