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DECEMBER 1, 1998  11:10 AM
CONTACT: East Timor Action Network
John Miller (718)596-7668
Nobel Peace Laureate Calls For Immediate Release Of Malaysian Pro-Reform Leader
NEW YORK - December 1 - Nobel Peace Co-Laureate Jose Ramos Horta today called for the immediate release of the leader of Malaysia's pro-reform movement, and one of the founder members of the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APECT), who was re-arrested immediately yesterday after being released on bail.

The arrest marked the third time that Tian Chua, chairman of the Coalition of People's Democracy, has been detained since the pro-democratic reform group was set up a week after the September arrest of former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

"Tian Chua is in the forefront for the struggle of freedom and democracy in Malaysia and is well-known in the region for his brave stand against the Indonesian occupation of East Timor," said Ramos-Horta.

"When the Suharto regime was using bully-boy tactics in ASEAN to prevent the East Timor issue from being openly debated in the region, Tian Chua and other Malaysians together with other brave activists in the Philippines and Indonesia stood up against Jakarta through APCET."

"Now, when Malaysia is besieged by the autocratic Mahathir regime Tian Chua has committed himself to fighting the draconian Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without a trial for two years, and campaigning for a free and fair trial for Anwar Ibrahim," added the Nobel Peace Co-Laureate.

"I demand that the Malaysian police immediately release Tian Chua and all those arrested at the pro-reformasi demonstrations. I also condemn the police violence that has been used against Tian Chua while he was detained," said Ramos-Horta.

"Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad together with his gestapo-like police force, in their vendetta against reform-minded Anwar Ibrahim, is ripping away the foundations of justice and democracy in Malaysia. This has to stop immediately."

Jose Ramos-Horta can be immediately contacted in Sydney, Australia at

+61-419-273-700 (mobile) OR +61-2-9601-8928 (after hours).




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