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Pictures of rape, torture released

South China Morning Post
Friday  November 21  1997

East Timor 

Pictures of rape, torture released 

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in Sydney and Jakarta 
Shocking photographs showing the alleged rape and torture of Timorese
women by Indonesian soldiers were made public in Australia yesterday.

A representative of the Darwin-based East Timor International Centre
(ETIC), a group opposed to Indonesia's 22-year occupation of Timor,
released 40 pictures.

The pictures, taken in the Timor capital Dili, show five naked and
half-naked women, one apparently pregnant, with bags over their heads.

The ETIC said one of the women shown was tortured to death. Men in army
fatigues and balaclavas are pictured undressing the women, pulling their
legs apart, holding them down and tying them to a tree.

The images include a woman's genitals being burned with a cigarette, a
nail being hammered into the stomach of another, graphic sexual assault
and the stabbing of one woman.

The photographs also show what appears to be blood splattered on the
women's bodies and a Christian cross and messages in Indonesian written
on their skin.

ETIC said the messages included: "If you are God's child, try to come
down and resuscitate your faithful."

Australian East Timor Association convenor Andrew McNaughtan, also a
doctor, said the pictures were taken by the Indonesian military and sold
to Timorese resistance fighters who smuggled them to Australia.

ETIC spokesman Maria Soares said the images were a "black reminder" of
what she said she had seen in East Timor before she fled to Australia in

Ms Soares said she could not prove the photographs' authenticity but it
was unlikely any East Timorese woman would have agreed to pose for
photographs that included a Christian cross being drawn on their skin.

A human rights team arrived in East Timor yesterday to investigate a
clash between students and troops in capital Dili that left seven people
in hospital last week.