/** reg.easttimor: 3718.0 **/

** Topic: Indon students shot, beaten, in clashes over military atrocities **
** Written 6:21 AM Sep 15, 1999 by Joyo@aol.com in cdp:reg.easttimor **
Subject: Indon students shot, beaten, in clashes over military atrocities

Indonesian students shot, beaten, kicked in clashes over military

JAKARTA, Sept 15 (AFP) - Protests erupted here Wednesday as the UN approved sending troops to East Timor, with security forces opening fire outside the UN building at students protesting Indonesian military atrocities.

Across town, however, groups demonstrating against Australia's involvement in the multinational force were allowed to picket its embassy and Indonesia's defence ministry without interference.

At least three were injured in the protest outside the UN building in downtown Jakarta, and one was in serious condition with a bullet wound, police and demonstrators said.

Others were injured when riot police chased them with sticks. Police said only rubber bullets had been used to fire warning shots.

About 60 protestors had been trying to march to the defence ministry to protest military "genocide" in East Timor and the province of Aceh, plagued by separatist unrest.

Police blocked their path and they staged their rally in front of the UN building instead.

Violence also erupted near the parliament when the troops ploughed into some 150 student demonstrators with sticks and their boots after they were pelted with molotov cocktails.

Witnesses said at least three demonstrators were beaten and kicked by the security forces and seven were arrested. The rest were chased further away from the parliament building where they re-grouped.

"One protestor was badly injured and I took a doctor to the police post where the victim was taken to," said Gunawan Muhamad, a former chief editor of Indonesia's leading Tempo weekly magazine. He was later hauled away by police to the Jakarta police headquarters.

The protesters had marched from the city's west to within 100 metres (yards) of the parliament, where they were blocked by a human barricade of about 100 police and soldiers.

They were protesting a draft bill on state security, currently being debated in parliament, which critics say is no better than the draconian laws brought in under former strongman Suharto.

Banners reading "Beware of the military threat" and "The state security bill is intended for a military coup" were held aloft.

But the gathering turned ugly when molotov cocktails were hurled from the midst of the students, landing near the troops who ran to extinguish them.

Gunawan said he was unsure why he was brought to the police post. He said he had addressed the protestors but only to tell them to disperse.

"I do not know whether I am being arrested or not," he said by telephone from the police headquarters.

Warning shots and teargas were fired Tuesday as hundreds of students clashed with security forces at two separate locations in East Jakarta over the same issue, leaving several injured and at least two cars burned.

Meanwhile, pro-government demonstrations were staged outside the Australian embassy, the British embassy and the defence ministry, AFP reporters and television reports said.

At the British embassy some 30 pro-Indonesia East Timorese denounced Britain for protecting independence leader Xanana Gusmao, who has been living in the mission since being released from a jail house on September 7.

The protest, during which they burned the flag of the East Timorese Resistance Council which Gusmao heads, broke up in chaos when protestors, police and journalists alike chased provocateurs in the crowd.

A larger group of some 120 pro-Indonesian East Timorese picketed the Australian embassy for several hours under the watchful eye of police, but there were no major incidents, an embassy official said.

The protestors, who have staged successive rallies outside the mission, charge Canberra with interference in East Timor.

Television reports said another group of pro-Indonesian East Timorese, unlike the students, were allowed to protest outside the defence ministry against Australia's presence in the peacekeeping force which it will lead.

** End of text from cdp:reg.easttimor **