03 January 2009

Gendercide in East Timor (I) 1975-1998

Gendercide Watch 2000 - Gendercidal massacres of males, and in at least one case of females, were prominent in the period immediately following the Indonesian invasion of December 1975.

"One of the most bizarre and gruesome ... atrocities" of the Indonesian invasion itself "occurred within 24 hours of the invasion and involved the killing of about 150 people.

This shocking spectacle began with the execution of more than 20 women who, from various accounts, were selected at random ... The women were led out to the edge of the jetty and shot one at a time, with the crowd of shocked onlookers being forced at gun-point to count [out] loud as each execution took place." (Carmel Budiardjo and Liem Soei Liong, The War Against East Timor [Zed Books, 1984], pp. 128-29.)

Immediately thereafter, however, a typical gendercidal massacre of males took place, according to a source quoted by John Taylor in East Timor: The Price of Freedom (p. 68):

"At 2 p.m., 59 men, both Chinese and Timorese, were brought on to the wharf ... These men were shot one by one, with the crowd, believed amounting to 500, being ordered to count. The victims were ordered to stand on the edge of the pier facing the sea, so that when they were shot their bodies fell into the water. Indonesian soldiers stood by and fired at the bodies in the water in the event that there was any sign of life."

In the wider slaughter in Dili, males appear to have been targeted overwhelmingly. According to John Taylor (East Timor: The Price of Freedom, pp. 68-69), one of the main killing sites "was the area surrounding the Portuguese police barracks in the south of the capital," where one survivor claimed that

"At about 12 noon, the green berets began to land. ... They advanced to where I was. They ordered us all out of our homes, to gather in the street. We were taken to an open space, women, children, old people and men, including me. ... There were about fifty of us then, all men, just picked up at random. All able-bodied men. ... Then the soldiers, there were three of them, started spraying us with bullets. Many died on the spot, some managed to run off, falling as they fled because they had been hit. As far as I know, only 3 or 4 out of the 50 men are still alive. (Taylor, pp. 68-69.)"

Sign the petition to the United Nations to activate the international criminal justice system to prosecute crimes against humanity in East Timor.

Image added by ETLJB - Reenactment of massacre in Dili.

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