Urgent plea from East Timor


The following letter has been received by TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign and translated from the Portuguese.

To the directors of international human rights institutions in Australia, America, Europe and Africa:

Dear Sirs, We are young people from East Timor who have been able to escape from Timor and who are hiding in Javanese territory. Through this letter, we would like to ask you to exert pressure to guarantee our security and that of our families and colleagues and people in general in East Timor who are at risk, who are threatened and constantly being followed and imprisoned as a result of the difficult situation perpetrated by the Indonesian military in our native land. We can do no more than ask for protection from God and from you.

Our colleague, Agostinho Pereira (Mau Laku) also intended to escape but was captured at the airport in Dili. He was carrying letters from our families and some information about human rights violations in East Timor. He was savagely beaten while he was still in the airport, until blood was coming out of his ears. In his harsh interrogation, he was forced to reveal details which included the fact that we had escaped to Jakarta.

Dear Sirs, during this last week, tens of young students and civilians have been taken to prison and up till now the whereabouts of some of them are not known. In Ainaro, Liquisa, Baucau, Viqueque and Lospalos, hundreds of people have been taken prisoner and brutally tortured.

We accept all this because it is one consequence of the struggle, the isolated struggle of the East Timorese people. On the other hand, we need the solidarity of the international community and your organisations in terms of the humanitarian aspects. Today, the Red Cross is not carrying out much of its specific mission; its activities are very limited in accordance with its agreement with the Jakarta government. [Lit: "They report what they see, but they do not speak about what they see and they do not interfere".]

For this reason, once again, we ask you to put pressure on Indonesia to ensure the vital security of all those who are hounded, imprisoned, threatened and the security of our families and the general population. We are prepared for "political exile" if our brothers in East Timor are not freed immediately. We appeal to you to disseminate our letter through Radio Australia, the BBC, Portugal, America etc so as to

attract the attention of the world. With great sadness, we send greetings to you and to all the leaders of our resistance movement in the diplomatic arena.

Java, September 5, 1992

Filipe R. Pereira, Jose Manuel de Sousa, Clementino F. Oliveira, Nelson A. Baptista, Ventura V. Conceicao, Mateus Brito Ximenez, Profirio da C. Oliveira

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