October 20, 1994
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Indonesia has refused to grant visas to journalists who were to accompany members of Parliament on a visit to East Timor, which Indonesia invaded and annexed 18 years ago, a reporter said.
Radio New Zealand reporter Jonathan Schwass said Friday visa applications by himself, TVNZ and TV3 representatives had been refused.
The five-member, multiparty Parliamentary delegation is to arrive in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, on Oct. 26, and then go to East Timor after meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas.
One member of the New Zealand delegation, Phil Goff, said he was sending a message to the Indonesian embassy in Wellington
"so it can be conveyed that if the visas are declined, then unfortunately the impression is given that there is something to hide in East Timor."
Indonesia took over East Timor, then a Portuguese colony, in 1976 after intervening in a civil war there. It has been accused of widespread human rights violations in the territory, and drew international condemnation after troops shot and killed dozens of pro-independence demonstrators in 1991.