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Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

in

Anzac troops are commiting human rights abuses, and the East Timorese want them to go home.

After the recent article I wrote comparing the occupations of Iraq and East Timor appeared on indymedia.org.nz and the Aussie website Labor Tribune, I received a number of angry e mails accusing me of exaggerating the 'problems' in East Timor and taking an 'ultra-left' position by opposing the presence of Anzac troops there.

One of these messages claimed that the occupation was supported by East Timorese 'from across the political spectrum'; another insisted that Australian and New Zealand troops were 'there to help' the East Timorese.

This sort of ignorance is not entirely surprising, because the big anti-occupation protests that have shaken East Timor over the past month have been under-reported, even in the media of the activist left. The huge demonstrations which followed the shooting of three refugee protesters by Aussie troops on February the 23rd, and the bloody raid that killed five opponents of the occupation south of Dili on March the 4th, have been characterised by much of the mainstream media as mere 'mob violence', and further evidence of the need for Anzac forces to occupy and 'stabilise' East Timor.

The widespread misrepresentation of the events of the past month make the following document, which was composed up by 'Internally Displaced Persons' resident at a camp outside Dili, invaluable. The refugees' statement was written in the aftermath of the deadly Anzac attack on the camp on February the 23rd, and it moves from a vivid description of a series of human rights abuses to a clear call for Anzac forces to leave East Timor.

The refugees, who were displaced during last year's civil war, were attacked after resisting attempts by the government of Jose Ramos-Horta to force them to leave the huge encampment they had established near Dili airport. Despite the fact that the 8,000 people in the camp had nowhere else to go, Horta and East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao had set a deadline of last November the 20th for them to leave the land they had been occupying. Anzac forces were called in to the camp after the refugees built barricades and threw rocks at police trying to evict them.

Earlier this week Helen Clark announced that two Iroquois helicopters and 32 support troops would join the eleven hundred strong 'Anzac battlegroup' that was dispatched to East Timor in the middle of last year. Along with John Howard's pledge of 150 more Aussie cops, Clark's new infusion of troops shows that the Anzac governments are responding to the crisis in East Timor by copying the 'surge' strategy George Bush is employing in Iraq.

Howard and Clark hope that more military and police muscle will help to 'stabilise' East Timor. Like Bush, they are setting themselves against the will of an occupied people. The statement by the refugees attacked on February 23 shows why we must oppose the maintenance and extension of the imperialist occupation of East Timor.

Subject: Statement by IDPs at Airport
IDPS OF AIRPORTO PRESIDENTE NICOLAU LOBATO

* Introduction
The current violent incident in IDPS camp of airport president Nicolao Lobato, Dili indicated that the Australian troops have bad intention against the IDPS and the Timorese people. They overreacted by arresting and killing IDPS that have become victims of the political crisis that have been taken place within 8 months in Timor Leste. The Australian troops has captured IDPS of Comoro airport without showing any clearly evidence that those refugees are committing crimes or make violence against their colleague, or even Australian troops.

We demand the Australian troops should take responsibility over those killed and others are being injured when they military action against mass civilians on Friday, 23th February 2007. We condemned their military action, because the Australian troops were using tank and other war equipments to attack and terrorize IDPs. Two tanks assaulted into by hitting the door barricade that still locking then fired tear gas with automatic guns against civilians as if they were in a battle against enemies in the battlefield.

Over all these attitudes as a provocation acts to create instability in Dili and be more dangerously to extend this political crisis into interest of Australian Troops in Timor Leste.

* Chronology of the Incidents
Exactly on Friday, 23rd February 2007, at 07.40 (Time Timor Leste) the Australian troops were so violently runs after our colleague who was still waiting for transportation to go to school, work and some wanting to hospital. They blockaded until the front of IDPS main door, then Manuel Soares was captured and then laid him down to the ground and bit him by using stick until bleeding.

IDPS was shocked with these attitudes of mal- treatments of Australian troops. There fore, some other IDPS wanted to come and witness their colleagues who were being arrested by Australian troops.

The airport IDPS who became victims in that incident. Their name as fallows.

* Manuel do Carmo from District Baucau, Sub-District Laga, violently arrested by the Australian troops in front of the IDPS door, laid him down to the ground, beaten him by using guns and all his body was wounded, and also puling him as animal and they threw him into Australian patrol vehicle.

* Delfin Sarmento from District Viqueque, sub district Uato-lari he was arrested, but then he escaped and he did not get into Australian vehicle, however the Australian troops pulled his T-shirt out of his body.

* Julio da Siva and Viriato Soares, from District Viqueque sub district Uato – Lari and Dilor they are both then went back into IDPS camp and spontaneously reacted against the Australian troops that were brutally assaulting into IDPS camp and at the time the Australian. Troops arrested Manuel do Carmo.

This incident got strong reaction from people and came out of the tent, against those attitudes of Australian troops in front of the entrance door.

Australian forces drove two tanks into by hitting IDPS door barricade which still unlocked and fueled the situation. The children, old man and women be suffered of tear-gas and resulted two seriously injured and two others were lightly injured and one got shot dead right away under IDPS tent by the Australian troops. The troops wanted to hide the dead bodies assuming he was shot outside of the camp so they then pulled out of barbed wire and his hair stickled at the barbed wire. Then the Australian soldiers cover up the dead –body with black plastics and thrown into maize field. However, many of IDPS were seeing and shouted at them, and then they taken back the dead –body put into Australian military vehicle.

Complete name of those who were killed and wounded as follows:
* Jacinto Soares From district Viqueque, subdistrict ossu, lia-ruka village got shot to death on the spot by Australian forces under tent of IDPS.
* Antonio Dasi From District Baucau, sub-district, wailili village, shot by Australian troops, at his chest and his side of left stomach in IDPS camp, unfortunately, he died in the next day in national hospital Guido Valadares at 11.20 on Saturday 23 Th February 2007.
* Geraldo Guteres From district Baucau, sub-district venilale, Uai-Oli village, shot at both of his knees and all broken.
* Cris Lopes From district Lospalos, shot at his log with heavy injured.
* Julio da Silva From district viqueque, sub-district Uato-Lari, shot at his thigh –with heavyly injured
* Demands This is not the first Australian brutal attitude against IDPs. They have carried out a systematic efforts and systematic discrimination against Timorese people.
Due to the above facts of all IDPS of Presidente Nicolau Lobato demanded strongly and urge to the government of RDTL , UNMIT and international forces in Timor Leste to take necessary measures based on international law prevails over the world against the forces as follows ;
* Immediate withdrawal of Australian troops out of Timor Leste.
* Request the sovereignty state of RDTL to take on immediately measures to pull out the Australian forces from Timor Leste.
* Requested the sovereignty state of representative UN security in Timor Leste, attention for responsibility to the problem, because he is dead in UNHCR under canvas.
* Request the representative of the United Nations forces in Timor Leste to take responsibility on family of victims and bring up actors of the Australian forces to international tribunal.
* We totally reject the news broadcasted on TVTL, that the information was not based on facts taken place in IDPS Comoro.
* We totally reject information that Australian forces have been delivering through internews that we shot at them with Ambon-Arrow that was totally false to cover up their bad attitude on us of innocent IDPS.
* Over these above demands if it is unrealized, thus, we all IDPS will take a strike and action in Dili and particularly in President Nicolau Lobato Airport Comoro Dili.
* A simpatico appeal to all Timorese to provided necessary support to depend IDPS human dignity.
* Demand the RDTL government and the UN representative for a closely cooperation to serve Timorese people.
* We demand the UN forces to take action in Timor Leste with impartial and not to get involve to a group or a political party.

COMITE ORGANAIZ
1. Carlito da Silva ………………………………………………..
2. Jose da Costa ……………………………………………….
3. Ilda Belo ………………………………………………
4. Mateus da Costa Belo ………………………………….....………... 5. Domingos R. Guterres ………………………………...…...………. 6. Jaime Soares ……………………………………….........…
7. Serafim Albuquequer Belo …………………………………….........……
8. Denis Quintão ………………………………….........………
9. Diamantino da Cruz ……………………………….........………… 10. Jose Pinto …………………………………….......…….
11. Nuno Sares ........................................................................ ( KORKA )
12. Vicente Da Silva ........................................................................ PSHT
13. Agustinho Da Silva ........................................................................ 77
14. Afonso Pinto ......................................................................... MELATO
15. Alberto Costa ........................................................................ PANTAI KELAPA
16. Salvador A Gomes ....................................................................... IDPS FAROL
17. Julion Guterres ...................................................................... IDPS AEROPORTO DILI
18. Kiliberio Dos Santos ...................................................................... IDPS OBRIGADO BARAK 19. Rosito ...................................................................... IDPS HOSPITAL BIDAU 20 Luis Dos Santos Belo ..................................................................... IDPS SIONAL
21. Sebastion Zeca Ximenes ..................................................................... ALDEIA MORIS FOUN 22. Sergio da Silva Reis .................................................................... ESTUDANTE
23.
24.
CC
1. Presidente RDTL
2. Presisdente Parlamento
3. Premeiro Ministro RDTL
4. Tribunal Recurso
5. Representative UNMIT.
6. Ambassador Australia
7. Diocese Dili ho Baucau
8. Ministry of security
9. Ministry Interior
10. Ministerio Transport and Telecomunication. 11. and exetra
Demands CC to 1 To Ministry Negotiation Estrange Rio and Cooperation RDTL. 2 To International Humang Right. 3 To International Human Right in Geneva, which represent in Timor Leste? 4 To .President Provedor Direitos Humanus RDTL. 5 To ATUR KHARE Responsible UNMIT in Timor - Leste

Comments

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

Hey Scott where did you find this statement? How did the IDPs get it out to the wider World?

Cam

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

The English of this is so bad it wont be taken seriously. I found it hard to not actually laugh at the events as presented. This shouldn't be the case but I think you will find it is - there is case here for someone to rewrite this in corrected English grammar.

Also it is bad to use such abbreviations as IDPS -
I have never heard of the IDPS.

Otherwise I have no difficulty believing there are human rights violations (and this is good information) and I agree that the Australian and NZ troops should get right out of East Timor and anywhere else they are.

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

Does anybody have any info as to where and when the next contingent of troops are leaving from for East Timor?

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

Did a google search for the statement and found it on the ETAN (East Timor action Network) site. ETAN are pretty reliable. http://www.etan.org/et2007/february/28/03statmnt.htm

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

Sorry about not including the link Cam. Interesting to see Clark mentioning ET as an area where the US and NZ were 'working closely' together during her press conference at the White House...

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

boring

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

Listen here mate, if we did not have Australian troop in Eas Timor, we would have been fighting eacth other in East Timor Loromonu cotra Lorosae, and who create this problem it was Fretiln party they sack 600 armw guys all from Loromonu, and there will be problem there still, and take people like Xanana AND Hotra to fix ok mate.

Re: Eyewitness account of an Anzac war crime in East Timor

Listen here mate, if we did not have Australian troop in Eas Timor, we would have been fighting eacth other in East Timor Loromonu cotra Lorosae, and who create this problem it was Fretiln party they sack 600 armw guys all from Loromonu, and there will be problem there still, and take people like Xanana AND Hotra to fix ok mate.