The graves of two Hera Polytechnic students were exhumed yesterday by their family members. The two students, Estevao Xavier Periera from the polytechnic’s electronics faculty and Agustinho de Carvalho from the civil engineering faculty were killed by Indonesia-suppoted militias in May 1999.
On 20 May 1999, the two students were detained
by militias. While in detention, they were tortured badly and then killed.
The Aitarak militia, led by Eurico Guterres, was responsible for their deaths.
“On that day, TNI from the Rajawali-Batallion 744 together with Aitarak militia men surrounded our campus in Hera. Those who were physically strong managed to escape by running away fast. Estevo and Agustinho, however, were not lucky,” said Inacio Moreira a former lecturer at the polytechnic.
Family members, who were looking for both of them since May 1999, got to know of their graves from a journalist on 27 December 1999.
Both bodies were found in one grave and family members said the two had their hands tied in front and were buried in a sitting position.
“They were both warriors for Timor Lorosae’s freedom. We will always remember them,” said lecturer Inacio Moreira.
8 FEER: Searching For Closure: the fate of those missing in ETimor
"In the meantime, the Missing Persons Unit is struggling to make itself better known in East Timor. Its three officials are fanning out through East Timor to encourage local government administrators and village leaders to gather material to plug into the database. In early February, the unit received a major boost when Bishop Belo, the Catholic church's leading official in East Timor, endorsed its work and requested that all church officials in East Timor cooperate." Stewart Taggart
BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity - A collection of recent press releases, petitions, articles and news
BD: 'Refugees' & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news