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Kidnapped East Timor students were identified

MateBEAN - December 24, 1997 (posted by ETISC)

Surabaya – MateBEAN sources have tracked the identity of the four East Timor students and two other graduates kidnapped in Surabaya on Sunday 12 December 1997.

Romualdo Amaral, a graduate from Aditama Institute of Technology (ITATS) and Antonio Lopez, a graduate student majoring in philosophy. Other three students, Jose H da Silva, Henrique da Conceicao and Pascal de Carvalho were from Dharma Cendika University, Surabaya, and the last one was Nelson Carvalho, a student from Untag, Surabaya.

The kidnapping happen at 17.00 in the students' rented house, Manyar Sabrangan Street No. IX/42-A, Surabaya. Ten masked kidnappers rushed into their house driving two jeeps. They locked two girls, who happen to be with the stu-dents in the rented house, in a room. Holding pistols with silencer, the kid-nappers tossed the blindfolded six students into their jeeps. On the way, the kidnappers beat and threatened the students.

After driving for a while, apparently in a certain place along the Gresik toll highway, they released the students at 02.00 in the morning on 22 December 1997. They gave the students Rp 60,000 and asked them not to say any-thing to anybody, especially the press. One of the kidnappers confessed, they had been paid to kill the students.

The Executive Board members of East Timor Students Association (IM-PETTU) had met the Police Precinct Chief and the Local Military Resort Com-mander this morning, for confirmation. The officers in charge received them reluctantly. The military chief said the students could not sue the armed forces because they did not have enough proof and could not recognize the kidnappers.

Maybe East Timor students have to pass Christmas and year's end with cautious atmosphere to face a new modus operandi of terrorism. The students suspected the kidnapping as a witch-hunt operation by the military intelligence on their effort to crack down clandestine activities of the so-called Brigada Negra. They wanted to arrest blacklisted East Timor students who are believed to be the masterminds of Brigada Negra operations. After the Demak Bomb Exp-losion incident, the military intensified surveillance against East Timor stu-dents' activities in big cities of Java and Bali.