government has not only been harassing the East-Timorese
by force (some sources say that in the last twenty years, a third of the indiginous population of East Timor has been killed at the hands of Indonesia), but have been waging a subtle campaign of genocide
by means of the coerced sterilization
of East Timorese women.
implants, long-term fertility inhibitors, are used in Indonesia and especially east timor, frequently without adequate or any explanation of the effects or of potential reactions. Many clinics refuse point-blank to remove implants once inserted, even when the patient is suffering from serious and potentially fatal side effects.
More commonly, and more frighteningly, Depo-Provera
, an injectable progestin treatment that renders women infertile for three months or longer and comes with significant side effects, is used 5 times more in East Timor than elsewhere in Indonesia, where non-permanent methods of birth control are much more common. D-P is often administered as a routine shot - the women are not informed that it is a method of birth control. In 1988-89, East-Timorese girls in their senior years in high school were forcibly administered the drug behind locked doors.
"''The injections were only for girls; they allowed the boys to go home. This was in Year 12. The boys asked why they didn't have to have them, but were given no reason. Everyone ran away if possible. No Indonesians came to school then, only Timorese. They made excuses why they were away. They used one needle for the whole class,'' an interviewee who attended the Becora High School in East Timor's capital, Dili, told Sissons. " -- IPS news services
Equally chilling are cases of coerced permanent sterilization - women who enter the hospital for a routine surgery
, such as an appendectomy
, or women who gave birth
by caesarean section, have been finding themselves mysteriously sterile
Further, 89% of the population of East Timor is Roman-Catholic
, for whom these unwanted birth control incidents represent not only a violation
of their bodies, but of their religious life.