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Bishop Says East Timor in Bad Shape

December 10, 1997

DILI, Indonesia (AP) _ One year after he received the Nobel Peace prize, Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Belo says peace remains far off for the troubled Pacific territory of East Timor.

``There are still violations and torture,″ he told reporters on Wednesday, International Human Rights Day. ``It means that there are no changes at all, either in human rights or in peace and justice.″

Belo, the spiritual leader of East Timor’s overwhelmingly Catholic population, shared last year’s Nobel Peace prize with exiled East Timor activist Jose Ramos-Horta.

East Timor has been wracked by human rights violations and civil unrest since Indonesia invaded in 1975 and annexed the territory in 1976 _ an act not recognized by the United Nations.

For two decades a small band of pro-independence rebels has waged a guerrilla war against Indonesian forces.

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