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Arnold Kohen

Arnold Kohen was a leading activist and writer-researcher in support of the cause of Timor-Leste in the United States and internationally. His work started in Ithaca NY in 1975, soon after the Indonesian invasion of Timor-Leste. In Ithaca, he worked with
Benedict Anderson on Timor issues including Congressional testimonies by Anderson. Groups originally based in Ithaca included the East Timor Research Project and the East Timor Emergency Committee, the latter of which worked to build awareness and
humanitarian action on the catastrophic war-related famine in East Timor in the late 1970s.
From the late 1970s, he began to publish numerous articles in a range of publications and also assisted many others in crafting articles and other material, working closely with Noam Chomsky in providing documentation and analysis for several books and
other publications and speeches on East Timor. In 1980, after a year of lengthy visits, he relocated to Washington DC, to work on bipartisan Timor advocacy in the US Congress continuing activities first undertaken in response to the late 1970s famine
as described.
Kohen provided assistance over many years to leading United Nations officials such as Fransesc Vendrell, international human rights organizations and other NGOs. He had close behind-the-scenes ties beginning in the late 1970s to the Geneva based
International Committee of the Red Cross and Timorese refugees, Timorese and Portuguese clergy and church leaders and US church organizations such as the US Catholic Conference, with funding from a number of church and secular sources. He
organized visits to Timorese refugees in Portugal by US Congressional staff and developed close links with a wide range of non-governmental figures and journalists in Portugal, other European countries and elsewhere. He was active as a campaigner,
and promoter of Timor-Leste awareness in the print and, in the 1990s, electronic media.

The Humanitarian Project

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