/** reg.easttimor: 3650.0 **/
** Topic: IHT: Timor Militias Systematically Target Their Victims **
** Written 3:53 PM Sep 14, 1999 by Joyo@aol.com in cdp:reg.easttimor **
Subject: IHT: Timor Militias Systematically Target Their Victims
International Herald Tribune Wednesday, September 15, 1999
'Are There Any Others?'
Timor Militias Systematically Targeted Their Victims, More Evidence Suggests
By Doug Struck Washington Post Service
KUPANG, Indonesia - Jani thought he was safe on the ferry. After three days of terror in East Timor, the boat would take him and two college friends to refuge, he thought.
Then the militiamen boarded. No young men may leave East Timor, they announced as the boat prepared to depart. Jani, 27, tried to hide; the militiamen caught his friends. ''Are there any others?'' the militiamen demanded, Jani recalled. ''No, no other young men,'' replied his friends in a last gift of kindness.
The militiamen marched Armando Gomez, 29, and Armando DiSilva, 30, to the front of the boat and killed them in front of 200 refugees. Mr. Gomez's body was dumped in the sea, Mr. DiSilva's on the ground by the dock.
Jani raced through the boat. ''Please help me,'' he whispered to the other refugees. A mother motioned to him to hide between her and her children. The searching militiamen walked by.
The account of Jani, now a fearful refugee in West Timor, adds to the mounting evidence that victims of the murderous rampage in East Timor following the territory's overwhelming vote for independence from Indonesia were systematically chosen.
Young men, political opponents, Roman Catholic clergy and anyone else suspected of favoring the independence opposed by the militias were targeted.
Here in Kupang, the capital of West Timor, the militias ''had names of all of the pro-independence party members and they were killing them one by one,'' a refugee said.
The militias, Jani added, also had pictures and addresses. ''They had lists,'' he said. ''They went to the houses and to the port and to the police headquarters, and they took people who were pro-independence.''
At night, a third refugee said, the militias would go to houses in Dili, the capital of East Timor, to search for young men. ''The militias knew that most of the young people there were for independence,'' this refugee said. ''If they found us, they would kill us.''
All of the refugees spoke in secret with a reporter and all pleaded that their full names not be used. The militias that terrorized them in East Timor reign over the refugee camps here in West Timor and move freely in the town.
Accounts from the camps say the militias are searching for opponents and the refugees fear the killing lists still exist.
** End of text from cdp:reg.easttimor **