Indonesian Citizens Deported from East Timor Complain to Indonesian Foreign Ministry

Thursday, 25 November, 2004 | 14:39 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Five Indonesian citizens deported from East Timor filed complaints regarding their deportation to the Indonesian foreign ministry, represented by the Indonesian Ambassador to East Timor, Ahmad B. Sofwan, and House of Representatives (DPR) member AM Fatwa on Monday (22/11).

The five Indonesian citizens, Dian Wahidin, Arham, Abdul Hakim, Thamrin and Saripe were deported by East Timorese immigration officers on Saturday (20/11) as they did not possess legal resident documents.

Arman told TEMPO that they had been detained in Dili police office for two days since November 16, 2004, for having allegedly violated the East Timorese Immigration Law before being deported to Indonesia. They had also been tried at the East Timorese District Court.

The deported people insisted that they were East Timorese citizens as they had lived in East Timor before the country gained its independence. Arman said that he met with AM Fatwa to report the latest conditions of Muslim people in Indonesia.

He went on to say he suspected that he and the others were deported in order to place the Muslim community in East Timor in a corner. "We need Mr. Fatwa's support," said Arman.

According to Sofwan, the five were deported for political reasons. "The local authorities were worried that as members of the Muslim community, these five people would make efforts to Islamize people in East Timor," Sofwan stated.

He added that the five had requested the Indonesian government to return them to East Timor.

(Abdul Manan/Evy Flamboyant-Tempo News Room)


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