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East Timor: ICRC visits people injured in Dili demostration

19-11-1997 News Release 97/46

On 15 November the ICRC was finally granted access to people injured the previous day when violent clashes broke out during a demonstration at the University of East Timor in Dili. Delegates visited two soldiers and six civilians at Vira Husada military hospital. Among the civilians seen was a wounded student whom police had dragged from a vehicle marked with the red cross in which he was being evacuated. The ICRC delegation protested on 14 November to the Indonesian authorities about this brutal act. It is currently pursuing its efforts to locate all the people arrested during the demonstration.

The ICRC has been working in East Timor since 1974. Its activities focus on seeking to ensure respect for the civilian population, monitoring conditions of detention and restoring contact between separated family members. Together with the Indonesian Red Cross, it is also carrying out a public health programme whose main aim is to provide remote villages with supplies of safe water.