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Indonesia: Human rights violations in East Timor not policy

April 17, 1997

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Human rights violations in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor do not reflect government policy, an Indonesian official said Thursday.

``Human rights violations in East Timor are on the decrease and if there are such incidents, they are not the policy of the government,″ said Nazaruddin Nasution, a top official in the foreign office.

He was reacting to a resolution passed Wednesday by the U.N. Human Rights Commission that criticized abuses by Indonesian soldiers in East Timor.

Nazaruddin also denounced the commission’s request to let U.N. investigators visit the troubled territory.

``If the purpose is just to follow or monitor the situation, then we have no objection, but if it is to conduct investigation in the territory, we definitely say no,″ he said.

Indonesian troops invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it a year later. The United Nations still recognizes Portugal as the territory’s administering power.

The resolution, sponsored by the European Union, passed by a 20-14 vote, with 18 abstentions. It voiced ``deep concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in East Timor, including reports of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention.″

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