APSN Banner

Urgent Action - Arbitrary arrests, Dili, East Timor

East Timor Human Rights Centre - February 7, 1997

124 Napier St Fitzroy 3065 Australia.PO BOX 1413 Collingwood 3066 AustraliaTel: 61 3 9415 8225 Fax: 61 3 9416 2746E-mail: etchrmel@peg.apc.org

Director: Ms Maria Brett Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin

Ref: UA 3/977 February 1997


Abel Fernandes, 27
Feliciano Maria Martins
Oracio Viegas
Celestino Soares
Luis Afonso, 22
Claudino Guterres
Jose do Rosario
Constancio Soares
Joao Budiono da Costa Morais, 19
Jose Maria Jeronimo, 32


Baltasar SH Belo
Gregorio Sequira Bento, 16
Armando C Soares, 18
Francisco Xavier
Lino Barreiros Guimaraes, 42
Isolino da Cruz, 17
Antonio dos Santos, 16
Carlito, 16
Francisco da Silva, 17
Victor Alexo
Filomeno dos Santos

The situation in Dili remains extremely tense, following the violent incidents which took place on Christmas Eve, 1996. Violence broke out when thousands of people gathered to welcome home Bishop Carlos Belo after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The violence resulted in an East Timorese member of the Indonesian military, Alfredo de Santo Siga, being killed and at least 11 others being injured. According to Amnesty International, Siga was beaten to death by a crowd of people outside Dili's cathedral when the crowd became angry at the presence of armed security forces. According to reports received by the East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC), repercussions following the Christmas Eve incidents continued throughout January, resulting in many arrests.

DETAINEES CHARGED The ETHRC has now received the names of 10 East Timorese people who have been charged in relation to their alleged involvement with the 24 December incidents. The ten have all been charged under the Criminal Code of Indonesia (KUHP) with violence against people and property (Article 170) and ill-treatment of people (in respect of the killing of Alfredo de Santo Siga and injuries to Indonesian Police, Article 351). They are currently being held in Becora prison in Dili, awaiting trial. The ten are:

1. Abel Fernandes, from Matadoru RT 16/RW 07 Vila Verde, Dili Barat
2. Feliciano Maria Martins, from RT 3/RW 1 Fatuhada, Dili Barat
3. Oracio Viegas, from RT 3/RW 1, Desa Kuluhun, Dili Timur
4. Celestino Soares, from RT Kampung Merdeka, Desa Comoro, Dili Barat
5. Luis Afonso, from RT 1/RW 10, Kampung Ailook Laran, Desa Bairo Pite, Dili Barat
6. Claudino Guterres, from RT 4/RK 10, Kampung Merdeka, Desa Comoro, Dili Barat
7. Jose do Rosario, from RT 7/RW 5, Kampung Merdeka, Desa Comoro, Dili Barat
8. Constancio Soares, RT 1/RW
9, Desa Comoro, Kecamatan Dili Barat
9. Joao Budiono da Costa Morais, from RT 12/RW 3, Desa Kuluhun, Dili Timur
10. Jose Maria Jeronimo, from RT 2/RK1, Desa Kuluhun, Dili Timur

OTHER DETAINEES REPORTED The names of four other detainees were released by Amnesty International on 8 January 1997. Amnesty reported that Baltasar SH Belo was arrested on 26 December and detained at the Police Resort (POLRES) in Dili. Gregorio Sequira Bento was arrested on 27 December and detained at Regional Police Headquarters (POLDA) in Dili. Armando C Soares was arrested on 30 December and was either detained by the Mobile Police or taken into military custody. No information is available about the reason for their arrests, however, Amnesty International believes that they are being denied access to independent legal counsel, placing them at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

Amnesty also reported that Bobby Xavier was arrested on 29 December and also detained at POLDA, however, an ETHRC source has now confirmed that it was not Bobby Xavier who was arrested but his brother Francisco Xavier.

According to recent media reports, Victor Alexo and Filomeno dos Santos were arrested on Saturday 18 January 1997 in Tibar in the district of Liquica. It is alleged by the Indonesian military that they organised the Christmas Eve "riots" and were acting as spies for the Resistance guerrillas. (South China Morning Post 21/1/97 and Kompas, Jakarta, 20/1/97).

ARBITRARY ARRESTS AT SANTA CRUZ AND QUINTAL BOT On 11 January 1997, members of the Indonesian military and groups of GARDAPAKSI stormed the Santa Cruz and Quintal Bot areas of Dili and arrested East Timorese people. The ETHRC has received the names of five of those arrested who were taken to Dili Police Resort (POLRES):

1. Lino Barreiros Guimaraes, 42, who is an employee at the Dili hospital;
2. Isolino da Cruz, 17;
3. Antonio dos Santos, 16;
4. Carlito, 16;
5. Francisco da Silva, 17;

Lawyers requested permission from the Police Commander to see them but were refused permission and the five detainees were then released. The ETHRC believes they were arbitrarily detained.

Background Information

In a recent media report (South China Morning Post 23/1/97) a member of the Indonesian Commission on Human Rights, Clementino dos Reis Amaral, said that Dili is living under a virtual self-imposed curfew nearly a month after the violent Christmas Eve incidents. "The people are now living in fear. They cannot come out of their houses after 7pm because they're scared" Amaral said.

The ETHRC has received reports from sources in East Timor that armed GARDAPAKSI (Pro-Integration Youth Action Group) and members of SGI (Indonesian Intelligence Unit) are patrolling the streets of Dili every day and night. INTEL agents (spies) also are scouring the streets, beating up and arresting youths or shooting at them if they manage to escape.

Recommended action

The ETHRC is concerned that some or all of the East Timorese people arrested in relation to the 24 December incidents may have been arrested solely for expressing their support for Bishop Belo. Grave fears are held for their safety as prisoners in East Timor are routinely tortured and ill-treated by the Indonesian authorities in order to obtain false confessions or information about the activities of others. In particular, fears are held for the safety of any prisoners who do not have access members of their families and to lawyers of their own choice as they are believed to be at heightened risk of torture and ill-treatment.

Please send faxes/telegrams/express/airmail letters in English, Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:

- seeking clarification of the whereabouts and names of all East Timorese people who have been detained since the 24 December incidents in Dili;
- calling for the immediate and unconditional release of any detainees who have not been charged with an offence under existing laws;
- calling the release of any persons who are being held solely for the non-violent expression of their political beliefs;
- seeking assurances that the detainees will not face any torture or ill-treatment in detention and that they will be treated humanely and in accordance with international standards;
- seeking assurances that they will have full and continuing access to lawyers of their own choice and to members of their families; and
- seeking assurances that the Indonesian military will cease its acts of generalized intimidation and ill-treatment of the local population.

Send appeals to:

1. MILITARY COMMANDER REGION IX/UDAYANA (includes East Timor) Maj Gen H.A. Rivai Pangdam IX/Udayana Markas Besar KODAM IX/Udayana Denpasar, Bali INDONESIA Telephone: +62 361 228 095 Telegrams: Pangdam IX/Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

2. CHIEF OF POLICE FOR EAST TIMOR Colonel Yusuf Mucharam Kapolda Timor Timur Dili, East Timor INDONESIA Telegrams: Kapolda, Dili, East Timor


3. MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS Ali Alatas S.H. Menteri Luar Negeri Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No. 6 Jakarta INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 360 541/360 517/380 5511/345 7782

4. SECRETARY GENERAL, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Prof. Dr. Baharuddin Lopa Sekretaris Jenderal, Komisi Nasional Hak Azasi Manusia (Komnas HAM) Jl Pemuda No.104 Rawamangun Jakarta Timur INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 392 5227

and to diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY Check with the East Timor Human Rights Centre if sending appeals after 21 March 1997