Sunday, June 22, 2014

The East Timor (Dili) massacre

The East Timor (Dili) massacre

With Shocking Footage of the (DILI East Timor) Santa Cruz Cemetery Massacre


During a brief confrontation between Indonesian troops and protesters, a number of protesters and a Major, Gerhan Lantara were stabbed.[9] Stahl claimed Lantara had attacked a group of protesters including a girl carrying the flag of East Timor, and FRETILIN activist Constâncio Pinto reported eyewitness accounts of beatings from Indonesian soldiers and police.[10][11] When the procession reached the cemetery, the leading section of the procession entered the cemetery while many continued their protests before the cemetery wall, waving flags and chanting pro-independence slogans. Indonesian troops had been standing by during this time, then a new group of 200 Indonesian soldiers appeared and began shooting.[12] Fleeing people ran through the main entrance and deeper into the cemetery and were pursued by the soldiers.

The massacre was witnessed by two American journalists—Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn (who were also attacked)—and caught on videotape by Max Stahl, who was filming undercover for Yorkshire Television. As Stahl filmed the massacre, Goodman and Nairn tried to "serve as a shield for the Timorese" by standing between them and the Indonesian soldiers. The soldiers began beating Goodman, and when Nairn moved to protect her, they beat him with their weapons, fracturing his skull.[13] The camera crew managed to smuggle the video footage to Australia. They gave it to Saskia Kouwenberg, a Dutch journalist, to prevent it being seized and confiscated by Australian authorities, who subjected the camera crew to a strip-search when they arrived in Darwin, having been tipped off by Indonesia. The video footage was used in the First Tuesday documentary In Cold Blood: The Massacre of East Timor,[14] shown on ITV in the UK in January 1992, as well as numerous other, more recent documentaries. Stahl's footage, combined with the testimony of Nairn and Goodman and others, caused outrage around the world.[15] The program In Cold Blood: The Massacre of East Timor was the overall winner at the inaugural Amnesty International UK Media Awards in 1992.[16][17]

At least 250 East Timorese were killed in the massacre.[18] One of the dead was a New Zealander, Kamal Bamadhaj, a political science student and human rights activist based in Australia. Indonesian authorities described the incident as a spontaneous reaction to violence from the protesters or a "misunderstanding".[19] Objectors cited two factors: the documented history of mass violence committed by Indonesian troops in places such as Quelicai, Lacluta, and Kraras,[20] and a series of statements from politicians and officers in Indonesia, justifying the military's violence. Try Sutrisno, Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian forces, said two days after the massacre: "The army cannot be underestimated. Finally we had to shoot them. Delinquents like these agitators must be shot, and they will be."


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