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31 July 2014

JSMP criticises indictment in domestic violence case in Dili District Court (18 July 2014)

ETLJB 31/07/2014 Indictment of the public prosecutor does not reflect the suffering of the victim - On 18 July 2014 the Dili District Court tried the defendant AA for allegedly committing domestic violence against his wife in Dili District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 11 October 2012 the defendant slapped the victim across the cheek, punched the victim several times to her body and kicked the victim in the chest. On 24 October 2012 the defendant used a machete to slash the victim’s hand which resulted in injury and heavy bleeding. The motive for this was that the defendant suspected the victim of having another man.

“As the judicial authority that has legitimacy according to the law to represent the victim, the public prosecutor must ensure that there is a thorough and appropriate investigation in order to prepare an indictment that reflects the facts of the incident and the consequences suffered by the victim,” said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

JSMP observed that the public prosecutor failed to select the correct Article because the incident had actually fulfilled the elements of mistreatment of a spouse, as set out in Article 154 of the Penal Code.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant violated Article 145 of the Penal Code on simple offences against physical integrity in conjunction with Articles 3 and 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

After the evidence was presented the court evaluated the facts established during the trial and gave time to the the public prosecutor and public defender to present their views on Article 274 of the Criminal Procedure Code, however, the two parties requested the court to proceed with the reading out of the final recommendations.

The trial was conducted without the presence of the defendant because at that time the defendant was residing in Ireland because immediately after the incident the defendant went to Ireland.

The victim testified that it was true that the defendant committed the acts as set out in the indictment.

“JSMP believes that it is important in the future for the public prosecutor to consider applying restrictive measures in all cases during the examination phase to ensure that defendants do not abscond before this process is completed,” said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor considered all of the facts to have been proven based on the confession of the defendant during the examination phase before the Public Prosecution Service, and the statement made by the victim during the trial. In his final recommendations the public defender requested the court to hand down an appropriate penalty.

The court found the defendant guilty, based on the charges of the prosecutor and the testimony of the victim and decided to sentence the defendant to 9 months in jail for the first offence and 6 months in jail for the second offence. After combining the two penalties the court sentenced the defendant to 1 year in prison, suspended for 3 years. This penalty is very lenient when compared with the injury suffered by the victim. If the defendant was charged with Article 154 of the Penal Code, the defendant would have received a more fitting sentence of between 2 and 6 years in prison.

This case was registered as Case No: 35/2013/TDDIL.  And the trial presided over by judge Julio Gantes. The Public Prosecution service was represented by Jacinto Babo and the defendant was represented by public defender Sergio Paulo Dias Quintas. Source: JSMP Press Release 24 July 2014

30 July 2014

Meeting of the Timor-Leste’s Development Partners July 2014

ETLJB 30/07/2014 - Mon. 28 of July of 2014, 13:47h On July 25th and 26th, just after the CPLP’s Summit of Díli and the official visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal to Timor-Leste, the Government gathered, at the Díli Conventions’ Centre, with its Development partners, for the annual meeting, with this year's subject: “Strategic Development Plan: Management for Better Outcomes”.

In this Timor-Leste Development Partners’ Meeting (TLDPM), was approved the SDP’s Matrix - a tool aimed at raising and ensuring the implementation of the established policy.

This document was the outcome of two days of work, in which several analysis and debate sessions took place, on the four strategic development sectors, namely the Economic, Social, Infrastructure Development, Governance and Institutional Strengthening sectors, which are, above all, directly in line with the four pillars of the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2011-2030. The sessions integrated the members of Government, National Parliament and development partners, including representatives from international organizations, Civil Society and Private Sector.

The SDP, which, “sets the framework in order to turn Timor-Leste ,until 2030, into a country with medium-high incomes and an healthy, educated and living in safety population” was launched at the TLDPM three years ago, back in 2011. Two years later, the Government announced, at the same meeting but in 2013, a Mechanism for Coordination of the Development Policies, in order to facilitate the implementation of this Strategic Development Plan (SDP) for the country.

This year, and aiming to ensure the continuation of the implementation of the established goals, the SDP Matrix, agreed by all the parties involved, sets direct responsibilities in order to ensure the accomplishment of the goals.

The Prime Minister, right at the opening session, framed the quick development registered by Timor-Leste, in the last year, at local, regional and international level, acknowledged by the biggest world organizations.

The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advisor for Timor-Leste, Noeleen Heyzer, highlighted that, “Despite being one of the youngest nations, Timor-Leste has already made impressive contributions to regional and global development”, advancing that “Timor-Leste is now above the average of countries in the Medium Human Development group”. Noeleen Heyzer also outlined that “Currently, Timor-Leste may be one of most petroleum-reliant nations in our region but one that has wisely established systems to use the financial revenues from the oil reserves, in order to support development across generation. It has used its petroleum resource revenue which now stands at USD 16 billion to fund its development budget”.

The Prime Minister, at the end of the meeting, warned about the need of a continuous adjustment on the SDP 2011-2030. Therefore, on the Communique that refers the outcome from the two days of the TLDPM, was defined an intermediate review for the final document, as it is considered a “document in progress” and “in order to ensure that it continues to provide the structure for national development until 2030”. Source: Government of Timor-Leste Press Release28 July 2014

EWER Alert: Sexual Violence in Dili's Public Spaces

ETLJB 30/07/2014 From EWER: Incidents of Sexual Violence in Dili's Public Spaces - Incidents of sexual violence[1] (#_ftn1) continue to concern communities across Timor-Leste. Over the past year, Belun's Early Warning, Early Response (EWER)[2] (ftn2) conflict monitoring system, media monitoring and other sources have reported numerous incidents of sexual violence. These kinds of incidents occur across the country, and have a profound impact on the social well-being of victims, their families and communities.

Given that sexual violence is a sensitive and therefore underreported category of incident, its prevalence is difficult to capture. However, Belun notes that monitoring over the past year has recorded a number of incidents of sexual violence in beachside areas and poorly lit streets of Dili. In particular, incidents have been recorded in public areas on the main beach road in Pantai Kelapa (from the US Embassy to the Farol Lighthouse), Bairo Formosa, and the beachside areas of Pantai Kelapa, Pertamina, Bebonuk, Tasi Tolu, Metiaut and Cristo Rei. The majority of the incidents recorded through EWER monitoring involved unknown perpetrators.

With the following recommendations, Belun hopes that coordinated efforts will be made to counter problematic attitudes and behaviours that can lead to incidents of sexual violence in our communities. Belun call on police, government and community leaders to work together to challenge harmful attitudes and norms towards women, and to create a society where all people, including women, are respected and can feel safe in both public and private spaces of Timor-Leste.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The National Police of Timor Leste (PNTL)

Through the Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU), provide training to all PNTL members to ensure that cases of sexual violence are recognised as criminal acts and are handled accordingly, and to build the sensitivity and responsiveness of policing around such cases.

Establish police posts and provide more frequent police patrols in those public areas identified as being prone to incidents of sexual violence, in order to strengthen police accessibility and visibility and better prevent and respond to incidents sexual violence.

Provide the public, including victims of sexual violence, with a rapidly accessible link to police through the emergency PNTL phone line (#112), by ensuring that it is constantly attended, immediately answered and that a rapid response is mobilised, as required.

The Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality (SEPI)

Collaborate with civil society groups (including community leaders and organisations such as FOKUPERS, ALfeLa, Alola Foundation, JSPM, UN Women, Pradet, Rede Feto,) in order to raise public awareness about the issue of sexual violence through a coordinated, nationwide public advocacy campaign to change problematic norms and attitudes towards women that contribute to sexual violence.

For further information, questions or clarification, please contact:

Ms. Marilia (Bylah) da Costa, bylah.belun@gmail.com ( mailto:bylah.belun@gmail.com) (7727 6671)

Mr. Celestino Ximenes, celestino.belun@gmail.com ( mailto:celestino.belun@gmail.com) (7788 3887)

To download a copy of the Alert, click the following links: English ( http://belun.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=28f7ca838aa874deb73e18b95&id=897bc859aa&e=c0be244fd3 ) or Tetun ( http://belun.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=28f7ca838aa874deb73e18b95&id=5c564143d2&e=c0be244fd3 ) Source: EWER Press Release 30/7/2014

29 July 2014

Timor-Leste's President requests Supreme Court to review consitutionality of Media Law

ETLJB 29/07/2014 - Dili, 14 July 2004 - His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, this Monday, 14 July 2014, submitted Decree no. 10/III of the National Parliament on Media Law, to the Court of Appeal, requesting a review of constitutionality, pursuant to articles 149 and 164 of the Constitution.

Having discussed this issue with several dignitaries and associations, and received many petitions, His Excellency the President of the Republic deemed it necessary to submit to the Court of Appeal the issues raised regarding the constitutionality of the ruling of the National Parliament.

This decision is aimed at ensuring that the regulations approved regarding Freedom of the Press will not excessively limit the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in art. 41 of the Constitution. Source: Office of the President Press Release 14 July 2014

Rough translation of the new draft Timor-Leste Media Law by Lao Hamutuk
New law does not bode well for free media in Timor-Leste (UCAN)
Confusion reigns over Timor-Leste’s controversial new media law
Pacific Freedom Forum calls on President to veto new media law in Timor-Leste
HRW: East Timor: Revise Repressive Media Law
U.S. Embassy Dili: Protecting Press Freedom
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