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[17 JUL 99] COVENTRY PEACE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
Violence As East Timor Approaches Independence Elections

On Saturday 17 July Coventry Peace Action will be demonstrating against the pre-election violence in East Timor with a striking tableau in Coventry city centre.

The election is to determine whether East Timor gains independence from Indonesia or whether it stays under Indonesian rule with some level of autonomy. East Timor has been struggling for independence since 17 July 1975 when it was annexed by Indonesia. Since then a third of the population have been killed or disappeared in over two decades of Indonesian occupation.

John Walker, a member of the group said:

"These elections are vital to East Timorese people because they need to know that the rest of the world is aware of what is happening. Indonesian backed pro-autonomy groups are terrorizing the population with widespread killings.

"For example on 6 April 57 people were slaughtered in a church in Liquisa. The UN now has an Election Observation Team there in an attempt to stop the intimidation and the ballot has been postponed from 8 August until later in the month, but murders continue in the more remote areas."

Three members of Coventry Peace Action were part of the Peace Camp outside the Alvis factory for over a year calling for an end to the export of tanks to Indonesia. The group will be staging the tableau at various places in Coventry city centre and giving out leaflets to explain their action. 

MORE INFORMATION: Peace House 01203 663031
 

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