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Thread: Balibo Five

  1. #1

    Balibo Five

    Balibo Five: Investigation into deaths of five journalists dropped by Australian Federal Police
    Sara Everingham
    Tue 21 Oct 2014

    The Balibo Five were killed in October 1975.

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has abandoned a war crimes investigation into the killing of five Australian newsmen at Balibo in East Timor in 1975.

    Five years ago the AFP launched an investigation into the deaths of Brian Peters, 29, Malcolm Rennie, 28, Gary Cunningham, 27, Gregory Shackleton, 29, and Anthony Stewart, 21, who were reporting on Indonesian military action.

    In 2007, New South Wales deputy state coroner Dorelle Pinch found the five men died at Balibo in Timor Leste, also known as East Timor, on October 16, 1975.

    In her inquest into the death of Peters, Ms Pinch concluded the men "died from wounds sustained when (they) were shot and or stabbed deliberately, and not in the heat of battle, by members of the Indonesian special forces, including (Commander) Christoforus Da Silva and Captain Yunus Yosfiah on the orders of Captain Yosfiah to prevent (them) from revealing that Indonesian special forces had participated in the attack on Balibo".

    The AFP confirmed in a statement to the ABC they had abandoned their investigation into the killing of the men, who came to be known as the Balibo Five.

    "The AFP has conducted an extensive review of the investigation," the statement read.

    "During the investigation the AFP identified challenges associated with establishing jurisdiction. The investigation continued in an effort to overcome those issues.

    "However, the AFP has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to prove an offence.

    "As a result, the AFP has exhausted all inquiries in relation to this matter and will be taking no further action.

    "The AFP has had ongoing consultation with the families throughout this complex and difficult investigation. Family members based in Australia and the United Kingdom were briefed by senior AFP investigators this evening."

    The AFP said the men's families have been informed of the decision.

    In 2009, former Indonesian soldier Gatot Purwanto told the ABC the men were shot deliberately but not executed.

    A few months after the deaths of the Balibo Five, another Australian journalist, Roger East, was killed in Indonesia.

    The Australian film Balibo, which is about the five men as seen through the eyes of East, was released in 2009.

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    Govt bans Indonesian official: WikiLeaks
    December 18, 2010

    The latest revelation from WikiLeaks says the Australian government has quietly blacklisted a prominent Indonesian political figure implicated in the Balibo Five killings.

    The Fairfax media says Canberra has been working with Indonesian authorities to manage the fallout from the scandal.

    Secret US diplomatic cables reveal that Australia has declared Yunus Yosfiah, a special forces captain during the 1975 invasion of East Timor, to be persona non grata with sanctions that would bar him from entering Australia.

    New South Wales Deputy Coroner Dorelle Pinch found in 2007 that Yosfiah ordered and participated in the murder of the five Australian newsmen at Balibo.

    He later became a general and minister of information in the late 1990s, and remains an influential figure in Indonesian politics.

  4. #4
    In 2009, former Indonesian soldier Gatot Purwanto told the ABC the men were shot deliberately but not executed.

    Eŕrr...ok. 😔
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  5. #5
    Thailand Lifer peterplonker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Udon thani
    True! if you think Thais are unscrupulous try the Indos for size.

  6. #6

    Timor-Leste : Balibo Five - 16 October 1975

    The Balibo Five was a group of journalists for Australian television networks who were killed during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.

    The Balibo Five were based in the town of Balibo in East Timor (then Portuguese Timor), where they were killed on 16 October 1975 during Indonesian incursions before the invasion.[1] Roger East travelled to Balibo soon after to investigate the likely deaths of the Five and was later executed by members of the Indonesian military on the docks of Dili.

    In 2007, an Australian coroner ruled that they had been deliberately killed by Indonesian special force soldiers.[2] The official Indonesian version is that the men were killed by cross-fire during the battle for the town. According to The Economist, the Australian Government has never challenged this view in order to avoid damaging relations with Indonesia.[3]

    After the ruling, newly elected Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd declared "those responsible should be held to account... You can't just sweep this to one side."[4][5] However, no meaningful action was taken when he was elected and Rudd refused to visit the gravesite of the slain journalists in 2008.[6]


  7. #7

    Uploaded on Jan 23, 2012
    Historical footage of José Ramos-Horta and the Balibo Five from the film Balibo.

    Balibo is a 2009 Australian feature film that follows the story of the Balibo Five, a group of journalists for Australian television networks who were captured and killed whilst reporting on the impending Indonesian invasion of East Timor (then Portuguese Timor) on October 16, 1975.

    The story is seen through the eyes of veteran journalist Roger East who is drawn to East Timor by José Ramos-Horta, of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor; then the fledgling republic's charismatic young secretary of foreign affairs. Initially refusing to become involved, East changes his tune after Horta shows him photos of five Australian TV reporters missing and assumed killed, in the border town of Balibo.

    The two men retrace the movements of The Balibo Five to discover they were executed for pursuing their profession - bringing the truth to the world. While the men were aware that Indonesian troops were to mount an attack on the town of Balibo, they believed that, as Australian journalists, they would not be considered military targets.

    Roger East was captured in Dili by the Indonesian military a few months later on 7 December 1975, the day of the invasion, and executed by firing squad on the morning of 8 December with his body being disposed of in the ocean.

    Another Australia journalist covering the events, Tony Maniaty, crossed paths with both The Balibo Five and Roger East, warning all not to proceed any further due to the inherent danger. He would return to Balibo during the shooting of the film many years later.

    The film's version of events was validated by an Australian coroner in 2007 that ruled, after a fresh review of evidence, that the journalists were executed as they tried to surrender to Indonesian forces. However, their killers have never been brought to trial.

    The filmmakers hope that Balibo will spur the Australian government into action. Robert Connolly, director of the 2009 film, said: "It's quite clear the journalists were murdered. The current Indonesian and Australian (government) point of view that they were killed in crossfire is quite frankly absurd. We seek out war criminals from World War II, so to dismiss calls for justice for the Balibo Five is crazy." Robert Connolly has also said that he did not set out to provoke Jakarta but wanted to examine a seminal moment in Indonesia's 24-year occupation of East Timor, when an estimated 183,000 people died.

    José Ramos-Horta (born 26 December 1949) went on to become president of East Timor taking office on 20 May 2007 after many years of exile.

    On 11 February 2008, José Ramos-Horta was shot in an assassination attempt. In the gun skirmish, one of Ramos-Horta's guards was wounded, and two rebel soldiers, including rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, were killed.[27][28] Ramos-Horta was treated at Dili Australian military base before being transferred to the Royal Darwin Hospital in Australia for further treatment. Doctors thought that he had been shot two or three times with the most serious injury being to his right lung.[29] His condition was listed as critical but stable.[30] He was placed in an induced coma on full life support,[31] and regained consciousness on 21 February.

    The following year, he returned to Australia on 24 July 2009 to attend the world premiere of Balibo (in Melbourne) where he addressed the audience alleging that the Balibo Five were tortured and killed by Indonesian forces. The film was to have premiered in Indonesia in 2009 but was banned to avoid a negative "global perception of Indonesia".

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  9. #9
    Thailand Lifer sabang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Australia, Indonesia, the US- all are complicit in a cover-up of events that happened in Timor in the late '70's. I doubt the real details will ever come to light- the Fretilin was considered communist you see, even though it really wasn't.

  10. #10
    Thailand Lifer Texpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Where my hat is.
    Don't drag us into your micro-shitfights over nano-soverignty with cannibals and fellow ferel-lifeforms.

    Timor's newfound sovereignty is working out about as well as South Sudan's.

    The only thing worse than 53 African countries is 54.
    Last edited by Texpat; 10-16-2016 at 12:56 AM.

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