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Deputy commander
Laksaur militia

Igidio Manek (Izidio/ Egidio)

Deputy commander Laksaur militia, Suai

Igidio Manek (30) was the Laksaur militia deputy commander in Suai. His brother Olivio Moruk was the commander. Eyewitnesses to the massacre at the Suai Catholic church on 6 September 1999 say that Manek was the one who actually murdered Father Hilario Madeira, one of three priests killed that day. They say he shot him in the chest, then trod on his body. The attack was led by Col Herman Sediono and Lt Sugito. Several other Laksaur militia members were also indicted for the same massacre by both the Indonesian and post-independence East Timorese justice systems. Soldiers standing outside the church compound shot refugees trying to flee, and took away the bodies afterwards.

In July 1999, according to the East Timor human rights group Yayasan Hak, Manek and his militia tried to prevent villagers in the Suai area from collecting baptismal certificates from the church that would allow them to register with Unamet in advance of the ballot.[1]

Yayasan HAK also said that on 5 April 1999 Manek and his militia, together with soldiers at the Tilomar local headquarters (Koramil) where both were stationed, arrested and tortured five civilians and held them for two days, for unclear reasons. Two days later they arrested and tortured four other civilians, and took them to the Covalima military headquarters (Kodim 1635 Covalima).[2]

After the Indonesian pull-out he moved to Atambua just across the border in West Timor, where he wielded considerable influence over the refugee population. Indonesian prosecutors who had made him a suspect for the church massacre failed to interrogate him because they were 'unable to find him' there in May 2000. Yet Indonesian soldiers presented him to western journalists in Atambua on 18 April 2000. Manek had in the meantime been accused by East Timorese human rights groups of kidnapping and raping a 16-year old girl, Juliana dos Santos, after killing her brother in Suai. He used this opportunity to defend himself by saying she was willingly his wife.

On 6 September 2000, following a 'mourning' ceremony led by Joao Tavares for the anti-Indonesian vote a year earlier, Manek and other members of his family, as well as the Bere family were prominent in an attack against the Laksaur militia commander Olivio Moruk. Moruk, who was also a suspect in the Suai church massacre, died in the attack. In turn, Moruk's enraged supporters then vented their anger on the local office of the UNHCR in Atambua, leading to the deaths of three foreign workers. This then led to international anger and to the pull-out of UNHCR from West Timor.[3]

By April 2001 Indonesian prosecutors had dropped him and others from their list 'because we haven't been able to find them.'[4] However, in July 2001 Indonesian police arrested Manek and 22 of his followers in Atambua, West Timor, after his gang killed a soldier during a massive brawl there.[5]

On 28 February 2003 Igidio Manek was indicted in absentia before the Dili special panel for crimes against humanity over his role in the Suai church massacre. Altogether 14 Laksaur militia members were named in the indictment, several of them with their own profiles in the present collection.[6] Besides the church massacre, the indictment holds Manek and his subordinates responsible for 14 murders, 52 disappearances, and torture against 49 civilians between 27 January and 30 October 1999. The victims were thought to be supporters of independence. It also charges them with responsibility for deporting thousands of civilians to West Timor after the ballot result was announced. Many of the same militia leaders were also mentioned in another wide-ranging Dili indictment for crimes against humanity committed in Covalima in 1999. This indictment is of 16 members of the security forces who controlled the militias (see LtCol Lilik Kushadiyanto). The incidents described in the two indictments are substantially the same.

Extra Information

Implicated in Events:
Suai - 6/09/1999 - Suai church massacre

Current Status:
T - Committed for trial in East Timor, some already sentenced.

A - (Indonesian) Attorney General's Department. Announced as suspects at various times (September 2000 - April 2001), some later dropped, some already sentenced.

K - KPP HAM. Listed in the 31/01/2000 report of the Indonesian commission of inquiry into atrocities committed in East Timor in 1999. More junior figures in Appendix 5 of the final report are added here under their superiors.

See map of location

This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
Vasco da Cruz
LtCol Lilik Kushadiyanto
Olivio Moruk

[1] 'Laporan Komite no. 2: Pelanggaran terhadap proses pendaftaran jajak pendapat', Yayasan HAK, 26 July 1999.

[2] 'Laporan situasi HAM Timor Timur April 1999 (1)', Yayasan HAK, 25 May 1999. The identities of all the victims are known.

[3] 'Olivio Moruk's nightmare', Gatra Magazine (No. 44/VI), 16 September 2000.

[4] Lindsay Murdoch, 'Ballot violence: Six to go free', Sydney Morning Herald, 3 May 2001; 'Militia leaders to skip trials for East Timor violence', AFP, 25 April 2001.

[5] 'Feared militia gang under arrest in Indonesia', AFP, 10 July 2001.

[6] Case 9/ 2003, court documents available at Those indicted were (as spelled) : Egidio Manek, Maternus Bere, Pedro Teles, Henrikus Mali, Cosmas Amaral, Alipio Gusmao Aka Alipio Mau, Baltazar da Costa Nunes, Dominggos Mali Aka Bete Aloi, Illidio Gusmão, Joaquim Aka Berek Bot, Alivio Tato Bau, Gabriek Nahak, Amerco Mali, and Zito da Silva Aka Zito Saek.


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