APSN Banner

Fifth man believed to have been arrested with David Alex

Amnesty International - July 4, 1997

It is believed that the fifth man arrested in Kaibada, near Baucau in East Timor on 25 June, is Cesario da Costa. The five included David Alex, second-in-command of the East Timorese National Liberation Army, Falintil, who later died in custody.

It is believed that the military have now acknowledged that four men are being held, although according to some reports, another person arrested with David Alex may also be detained. The military have not stated where the detainees are being held, but some reports allege that they are in the headquarters of the Military Intelligence Unit (Satuan Tugas Intelijen, SGI) in Dili. Amnesty International believes that the men will remain at risk of torture and ill-treatment as long as they are held in incommunicado military custody.

The precise circumstances surrounding the death of David Alex, allegedly shot by the military on 25 June, remain unclear. However it seems clearer that there may have been a military confrontation between David Alex and the Indonesian Armed Forces on the early morning of 25 June at Kaibada and that some of the four now detained may have been wounded. It is still not clear what time David Alex died, but it he appears to have been buried at around 8.30am on 26 June, the day after he was captured. Amnesty International remains concerned at the lack of clarity surrounding the circumstances of David Alex's death. This concern is increased by the speed with which the military buried his body and by the fact that the body has not been returned to his family as per their request.