Incidents with ADF and Australian police in Loro Mata and Comoro

22nd October, the ADF and the Australian Police went to break up a demonstration in Comoro. The demonstration was because one man from Baucau and one man from Los Palos had been killed by thugs a few days earlier. The bodies were both mutilated badly. The families made two coffins, they were placed in the middle of the road, they said they wanted the Prime Minister or someone from the government to come and explain why their families were killed by thugs, and why the ADF and the police harassed them and did little to stop the fighting. A soldier from the ADF told them to go home, one lady Julieta Belo said to one of the soldiers. ‘You are not stopping the fighting, and you are not neutral, our people are being killed, you should go home’ She was told by a member of the ADF, that she was under arrest. She said the soldier grabbed a hold of her hair and dragged her away from her family, she was frightened and tried to free herself by kicking at the soldiers legs.

The soldier then dragged her to the floor and held her down by placing his foot on her body. Her clothes were torn in the struggle. She was taken to the detention centre.

Eventually Antero Lopes came to speak to the demonstrators, when he was told of the incident he said he would have Julieta released, she was released one hour later.

Loro Mata 22rd October, rubber bullets were fired by the ADF directly at people living in this barrio when they tried to defend their homes from attack by thugs. In the same incident tear gas was thrown near people, including small children (1 to 5 year old) who were running away from the thugs and the military. I was present at the incident, many people including myself suffered from the effects of the tear gas.

Loro Mata/Fatahada 24th October, rubber bullets were again fired at villagers.

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Attacks in Dili.

Over the last few days fighting has occurred all over Dili – in most of the biros and IDP camps.

The airport was closed because of the fighting yesterday Wednesday, 25th October.

Today a taxi carrying two young men was stopped at a road block on the beach road. The men, one from Los Palos one from Baucau, but living in Loro Mata, were abducted. I have reported the incident to the police liaison officer who say they will try to find out where the men have been taken. The two men were on their way to college.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Timorese to travel to and from Loro Mata and Comoro to school and work.

Lidia Tyneside East Timor Solidarity – Dili lidia.tindle@googlemail.com

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