12 March 2010

CPD-RDTL accuses PNTL of human rights violations

Suara Timor Lorosae  March 10, 2010   language source: Tetun - CPD-RDTL leaders from Kovalima district have accused the Timorese National Police (PNTL) of human rights violations during their so-called joint operation against ninjas.

Anito da Costa, a leader of CPD-RDTL from Fatume sub-district of Kovalima told the parliament’s plenary session yesterday that he was tortured by PNTL officers and then was forced to admit that he was a Ninja.

“I told them that I don’t know about ninja and I am not a ninja myself however they beat me to confess that we from CPD-RDTL are involved in ninjas,” he said.

Meanwhile Orlando Cardoso, District Coordinator for CPD-RDTL, said that he was arbitrarily arrest and detained for two days during which he was beaten with gun butts on his chest.

“They forced me to make a statement about our involvement in ninja activities but I told them that I am not a ninja and I am not involved in any crime however they kept beating me for two days and then released,” said Cardoso.

Cardoso also denied the allegation of the PNTL that local CPD-RDTL members were involved in crime saying that they only raised and lowered the organisation’s flag and after that they go to their farms.

Another CPD-RDTL leader, Clemente de Araújo from Maukatar sub-District, said that he was also tortured and threatened to be shot during the investigation of the PNTL.

“They beat me with their gun’s butts and made me confess that I was involved in ninja activities and once I said ‘No’ they intensified their beatings,” he recalled.

MP Fernanda Borges of PUN said that the issue of ninja is highly politicised because it involves local political leaders.

She then told the victims to lodge the complaints with the office of human rights and justice ombudsman in order to have a probe into the issue.

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