26 September 2009

UN: East Timor broke international law with Bere's release

Radio Australia News Asia Pacific 16 Sep 2009 07:59:44 GMT+0800 Christine Webster, Asia Pacific - The United Nations has accused East Timor of breaking international law.

It follows President Jose Ramos-Horta's decision to release to Indonesian authorities a militia leader who crossed into East Timor last month.

Martenus Bere is wanted for his alleged involvement in the Suai church massacre in which up to 200 people died in the lead-up to East Timor's 1999 vote for independence.

Fernanda Guimaraes, the UN Human Rights deputy chief in East Timor, told Radio Australia's Asia Pacific program, the release or detention is up to the courts, and not the Government, to decide.

"There can be no impunity for crimes against humanity, for war crimes and gross human rights violation," she said.

"Timor Leste ratified the Rome statute that established International Criminal Court and is a party to the international covenant on civil and political rights."

Human rights progress report

The United Nations has released its third human rights report on East Timor, which highlights the fact that the country made progress in key human rights areas in the past year.

These include the strengthening of the judicial system, no confirmed reports of torture by security forces and the introduction of laws such as making domestic violence a crime.

The report covers the period between July 2008 and June 2009.
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East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste!
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