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Military claims regarding David Alex funeral refuted

Tapol - June 27, 1997

A Reuter report on 27 June quoted an army lieutenant as saying by phone from Dili: 'David Alex was buried in a public cemetery in Dili on Thursday afternoon and the burial was attended by his relatives.'

TAPOL has been in touch with first cousins of David Alex now living in the UK and Portugal. They refute this claim, saying that all the close relatives of David Alex on his father's and mother's side live at least six hours travelling distance from Dili, near Kelikai, and could not possibly have travelled to Dili in time to attend a funeral that took place so soon after his alleged death.

TAPOL has also been told that more distant relatives living in Dili have confirmed that they did not attend any funeral, they knew nothing about it and stress that the security situation in Dili is so tense that they would not have been able to leave their homes for such an event.

TAPOL wrote to the Foreign Office Thursday saying that the Indonesian authorities should provide clear evidence of the present whereabouts of David Alex. If he is indeed dead, the circumstances of his death should be investigated and the military authorities in Dili should be urged to hand his body over to members of his family so that an autopsy can be carried out.

TAPOL is convinced that the military authorities are weaving a web of lies about the fate of David Alex and call upon the international community to insist on establishing the truth about what happened and to act to protect the lives of the four men who were captured together with David Alex and who are now thought to be in custody at Kopassus headquarters in Baucau.