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Call for extradition of accused, Balibo five case

Call for extradition of accused, Balibo five case

Reporter Sans Frontieres:


15 February 2001

RSF asks Indonesian authorities to allow extradition of man charged with

murder of five journalists

SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris

**Updates IFEX alerts of 18 September 2000, 18 October, 24 and 21 June 1999 and 28 May 1998**

(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Alwi Shihab, RSF protested the Indonesian government's refusal to extradite Yunus Yosfiah to East Timor in order to try him for the murder of five foreign journalists in 1975. RSF believes this measure will strengthen the impunity enjoyed by murderers of journalists in this part of the world. The organisation asked the minister to respond favourably to the United Nations Temporary Administration for East Timor's (UNTAET) request for Yosfiah's extradition. "The refusal to extradite Yunus Yosfiah is unacceptable if press freedom is to be guaranteed in the future. Impunity for the murder of journalists must end and Yunus Yosfiah must be tried," stated RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard.

According to information collected by RSF, UNTAET investigated the involvement of Yunus, former information minister and retired general, in the murder of five journalists in 1975. The investigation concluded that

there is enough evidence to charge Yunus. UNTAET announced it has asked for his extradition in order for him to be tried in East Timor. The five Australians and New Zealanders - Greg Shackleton, Tony Steward, Britons Malcolm Rennie, Brian Peters and Gary Cunningham - were murdered in 1975

when they were covering the assault of Balibo village by Indonesian troops led by General Yunus. The officer admitted to having led this attack but he always denied his involvement in the murder of the five journalists. The

Indonesian foreign affairs minister declared "even if Yunus Yosfiah is proved to be guilty, we will not hand him over for a trial abroad."

For further information, contact Vincent Brossel at RSF, 5, rue Geoffroy

Marie, Paris 75009, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 84, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, The information contained in this alert update is the sole responsibility of RSF. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit

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