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Australian Troops Accused Of Torturing Militiamen

The following report was carried this morning in the Jakarta English language daily the Jakarta Post. It reports an East Timorese militia commander accusing Australian peace-keepers of torturing eight militiamen in Dili East Timor.

Transcript Begins

JAKARTA (JP): Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights Marzuki Darusman urges the Australian-led International Force for East Timor (Interfet) to be indiscriminate in its efforts to uphold human rights in East Timor.

"I want a confirmation from Interfet that they are prepared to respect everybody and ensure human rights protection for all (East Timorese), especially as efforts to uphold human rights (in the province) now rest with the Interfet," Marzuki said Saturday as quoted by Antara.

Interfet must respect the rights of all East Timorese regardless of their political aspirations, he added.

Marzuki was responding to a statement from a commander of the Integration Fighters (PPI) commander, Filomeno Antonio Britto, who said Friday that Australian troops had tortured eight PPI members identified as Lino Soares, Antoninho Soares, Marcelino de Jesus, Gregorio Soares, Matias Soares, Alberto, Domingos and Clementino, all residents of Manatuto regency.

"One of them, Clementino, was burned to death," Filomeno said in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara.
He added that five of the victims managed to escape to Atambua while two were still missing.
Filomeno said the eight men were among a flock of refugees who packed Dili Port on their way to Atambua on Monday.

"They were unarmed and were leaving Dili to take refugee in Atambua," he said, adding that the National Council of East Timorese Resistance (CNRT) was behind the incident.

The Australian Embassy issued a written denial of the allegation on Friday, saying press reports about the incident were not true.

So far, only Indonesian media has carried stories of the alleged incident.

Transcript Ends

The Jakartapost can be read online at… http://www.thejakartapost.com/

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