HC Deb 14 March 1994 vol 239 cc473-4W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 7 March,Official Report, column 20, if he will set out what Her Majesty's Government were told by the Indonesian authorities in response to the inquiries made about the death of Mr. Peters and Mr. Rennie in East Timor.

Mr. Goodlad

The deaths occurred over seven weeks before the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.

Facts were difficult to establish in a territory for which Indonesia was not the administering authority. But the results of its inquiries, at our and Australia's request, led to the conclusion that Mr. Peters and Mr. Rennie, along with the other members of the Australian TV crew, had been killed in Balibo on 16 October 1975. Local reports at the time suggest that the House in which the crew were sheltering was caught in heavy crossfire between the forces of the three internal warring parties—UDT, APODETI and FRETILIN—and set on fire. There were no survivors.

Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his latest estimate of the number of Timorese killed by arms exported from the United Kingdom; what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the United Nations Human Rights Commission concerning the actions of the Indonesian Government in East Timor; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goodlad

None. We have no evidence that British-supplied defence equipment has ever been used against the people of East Timor. With our European Union partners we have welcomed Indonesian and Portuguese agreement to a consensus statement on East Timor at this year's session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Mr. Parry

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the supply of military hardware by British companies to Indonesia for use by Indonesian forces in East Timor.

Mr. Goodlad

In accordance with our guidelines for considering export license applications, we have not supplied any military equipment to Indonesia which is likely to be used for repressive purposes against the civilian population in East Timor.

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