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DECEMBER 6, 1998   5:29 PM
CONTACT: East Timor Action Network
John M. Miller (718)596-7668
December Demonstrations to Highlight Rights for East Timor; Events Commemorate 1975 Invasion, 50th Anniversary of Human Rights Declaration
NEW YORK - December 6 - Supporters of self-determination and human rights in East Timor will hold demonstrations and other events the week of December 7.  The protest will take amidst continuing reports of Indonesian military killing, abduction and torture of unarmed civilians in the Alas region of East Timor.

The East Timor Action Network (ETAN) will observe the December 7 anniversary of the Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor and the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10 with protests and commemorative events.

Demonstrations will take place on December 7 at the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC, and Indonesian consulates in Chicago and San Francisco. (A candlelight vigil took place at the Los Angeles consulate on Sunday.) ETAN is also joining December 10 commemorations of the human rights declaration outside the United Nations in New York and elsewhere.

ETAN is demanding changes in U.S. and Indonesian policy to support human rights and self-determination for the Indonesian-occupied territory.  The group will call on Indonesia and other governments to put the words in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights into action by respecting East Timorese rights. Specifically, the East Timorese should be able to determine their own political future through direct participation in UN- sponsored talks and a referendum; Indonesia should release all East Timorese and Indonesian political prisoners, including East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao; and a permanent international presence should be established in East Timor to monitor the  human rights situation and Indonesian troop withdrawals.

East Timor related events December 7-10, include on December 7:

Washington, DC:
5pm, protest at the U.S. State Department, 22nd and C St. NW, commemorating 23 years of U.S. support for the Indonesian regime's brutal occupation of East Timor. Sponsored by ETAN, Peace Action and others. Contact: East Timor Action Network, 202-544-6911;

4 p.m. Demonstration. Indonesian Consulate, 72 E. Randolph. Protest will include street theatre re-enactment of US - Indonesian collaboration in Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor. Contact: ETAN/Chicago: 773-878-4033;

San Francisco:
4:30-6:30 p.m. Protest and candlelight vigil Indonesian Consulate, 1111 Columbus (at Bay, near Tower Records; Montgomery Bart Station: take 30 Bus from Kearny and Market through Chinatown and up Columbus). Co-sponsored by Global Exchange, Indonesia Alert! and others. ETAN/SF will also participate in the Dec. 10 rally at the Civic Center. Contact: ETAN/SF, (415)626-3723,

Madison, WI:
Noon. Rally to kick off postcard campaign to urge Secretary of State Albright to support East Timor's right of self-determination. Evening of the 7th we will also have a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the Timorese victims of the invasion. Dec. 10: ETAN/Madison is co-sponsoring a candlelight vigil to mark Human Rights Day, and will be speaking on East Timor and Indonesia. Dec. 8: Opening for a window exhibit on East Timor and West Papua at Rainbow Bookstore. Contact: ETAN/Madison,

Tempe, AZ:
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Informational displays on Hayden Lawn, Arizona State University, to commemorate both the Indonesian invasion and the upcoming anniversary of the Universal Declaration. A  "prison" will draw attention to the plight of political prisoners.  With Students for a Free Tibet, Amnesty International and others. Contact: Andrew N. Teixeira de Sousa, ETAN/AZ, 602-884-9472;

Dec. 10 Events (see above for San Francisco and Madison):

New York, NY:
3 p.m. rally and candlelight vigil across from the United Nations at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th St. and 1st Ave.) Former East Timorese political prisoner Fernando de Araujo will speak. The event is sponsored by a range of organizations working on human rights in Tibet, Nigeria, China, Indonesia, Bosnia and elsewhere.  Contact: ETAN/NY, John M. Miller, 718-596-7668;

Seattle, WA:
ETAN/Seattle will participate in protests focused on Washington state's investment policies. Speakers and street theater complete with "massacred" Timorese and U.S. oil companies drilling in the Timor gap. Contact: Joe Szwaja, 206-633-2836,

The East Timor Action Network/U.S. supports genuine self-determination and human rights for the people of East Timor and democracy in Indonesia.  ETAN recently released with others leaked Indonesian military documents proving increased troop levels in East Timor, despite Indonesian government claims of withdrawals last summer.

On December 7, 1975, the Indonesian military brutally invaded East Timor. The following July, East Timor was illegally but formally "integrated" into Indonesia as its "27th province." The U.N. and most of the world's countries do not recognize  this act, and the East Timorese reject it. According to human rights groups and the Catholic Church more than 200,000 -- one-third of the population – have been killed by the Indonesian occupation forces.




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