For Immediate Release: September 14, 1999 Contact: Danielle Veith at email@example.com or 212-209-5426.
Journalist Detained in East Timor
Allan Nairn to be deported
Allan Nairn, who has been in East Timor reporting for The Nation and Pacifica's Democracy Now!, was detained by the Indonesian military yesterday. As of 1 p.m. today, The Nation's understanding is that Nairn will soon be deported.
"Nairn's detention is a clear effort to prevent eyewitness news reporting on events in Dili, even as Indonesia claims to welcome a new international peacekeeping effort," wrote Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor of The Nation. The Nation has sent letters to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, Dorodjatun Jakti, strongly protesting the arrest.
In 1991, after being badly beaten by Indonesian troops while witnessing the massacre of several hundred East Timorese, Nairn was declared a "threat to national security" and banned from the country. An award- winning journalist and frequent Nation contributor, Nairn has entered East Timor several times illegally since then. Nairn's most recent article for The Nation, detailing the US complicity in the violence against the East Timorese people, is available at on The Nation's Web site at http://www.thenation.com/print/easttimor.
For further information, please contact Danielle Veith, Director of Publicity, at 212-209-5426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 14, 1999
Madeleine Albright Secretary of State State Department
Ambassador Dorodjatun Jakti Indonesian Embassy
Dear Secretary Albright:
We are deeply alarmed by yesterday's arrest of Nation correspondent Allan Nairn by the Indonesian military in Dili, East Timor. We urge you to strongly protest Nairn's arrest to the Indonesian government, demand that all responsible parties ensure his safety, and insist that he be immediately released and permitted to continue reporting in East Timor.
Nairn's detention is a clear effort to prevent eyewitness news reporting on events in Dili, even as Indonesia claims to welcome a new international peacekeeping effort. This is only the latest in a series of systematic attacks on reporters in East Timor over the last several weeks, as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Nairn's reporting on military and human rights issues from Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Indonesia, East Timor and other places, has won him the George Polk Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, the Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton, as well as awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Radio/Television News Directors Association.
Katrina vanden Heuvel Editor