Concerns are held for Joaquim Moreira and up to 84 other East Timorese people who may still be in detention following their arrest in June 1997(see UA 17/97). The 85 detainees were arrested in Quelicai, Baucau district, between 5 and 16 June as part of an intensive military operation launched by members of Battalion 312 and Team Saka. The operation was launched in response to a grenade attack on an Indonesian Army truck in Quelicai by Resistance guerrillas, in which sixteen Indonesian soldiers and one policeman were killed.
Joaquim Moreira, who was reported missing following his arrest on 17 May, 1997 (see UA 13/97) is now believed to be in detention at Kodim (District Military Command) headquarters in Baucau. ETHRC sources have reported that Moreira was released on 19 May but arrested again on 13 June during the current military operation. The location of the other 84 detainees is unconfirmed, however, it is believed they are detained either at Kodim in Baucau or at Koramil (Sub-district Military Command) headquarters in Quelicai.
The ETHRC has received another fifteen names of East Timorese people arrested in the current military operation. The following seven detainees are believed to be in detention at Koramil headquarters in Quelicai:
Jose Moreira, arrested by members of the Rajawali Battalion and Team Saka on 8 June; Eusebio Pascoal da Conceicao, arrested by security forces on 9 June; Adelia Ximenes, arrested by members of the Rajawali Battalion and Kopassus on 9 June; Domingos Freitas, arrested by members of the Battalion 312, Kopassus and Team Saka on 16 June; Boaventura Belo, arrested by security forces on 16 June; Eusebio, arrested by members of the Rajawali Battalion and Team Saka on 10 June; and Martinho Belo, arrested by members of Rajawali Batallion and Team Saka between 5 June
Sidonio Belo, Martina da Silva Belo, and Faustino Belo were arrested by authorities on 5 June, while Felisberto Belo, Julio Belo, Francisco de Fatima Belo, Jose Antonio Belo and Jeronimo Sarmento were arrested by authorities on 9 June. These eight detainees disappeared following their arrest and internal steps taken to locate them have been unsuccessful.
The East Timor Human Rights Centre holds grave fears for the safety of any East Timorese people still in detention following the current military operation as an unknown number of the detainees have already been subjected to lengthy interrogation and torture. Detainees may be at serious risk of further torture and ill-treatment, especially if they are denied access to family members and independent legal counsel. Those whose whereabouts is unknown are believed to be at heightened risk of torture if they are not located soon.