31 July 2010

Committee A approves report recommending Draft Laws on a Memorial Institution and Reparations

Press Release  21 July 2010 Committee A approves report recommending Draft Laws on a Memorial Institution and Reparations - On 14 July 2010, Committee A of National Parliament approved a report/recommendation for a Draft Law on a Memorial Institutional and a Draft Law on Reparations.  The submission was approved after a vote of 5 in favor, 2 against and 0 abstain.

Members of various parliamentary benches were present for the discussion, namely Fernanda Borges from PUN who is also the President of Committee A, Carmelita Moniz from CNRT, Natalino dos Santos from CNRT, Teresa Amaral from ASDT,  Cornelio Gama a.k.a. L-7 from UNDERTIM and Aniceto Guterres and Domingos Sarmento from Fretilin.

A member of the Fretilin bench, Domingos Sarmento, rejected the recommendations of the report because the law on reparations should prioritize victims who fought for national liberation, however the report included a recommendation that other victims should receive support and social assistance from the government.

Another member of parliament, L-7, agreed with the report because the reparations mechanism can benefit all victims, particularly those who have been rendered vulnerable as a consequence of their active or passive involvement in war. This sentiment was echoed by another member of parliament, Natalino dos Santos, who agreed at the Committee level to give proper recognition to the victims, however he may change his stance during the plenary debate if considered necessary.

JSMP Director, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, congratulates the members of parliament on their hard work, because despite their different political views on the matter, they all have a desire to carry out the recommendations of the final report from CAVR (Chega!) as well as the recommendations of the Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF). Therefore, JSMP encourages and urges the honorable members of national parliament to immediately discuss these draft laws in a plenary session and approve the laws before the end of this year.

JSMP hopes that these two draft laws will provide benefits to vulnerable victims who were subjected to violence, maltreatment or other violations of their fundamental rights as the result of actions or omissions or serious violations of international human rights law. JSMP also hopes that the existence of these laws can further prevent practices that discriminate against the rights of the disabled and provide health care and rehabilitation to those suffering mental health problems, as well as advice and social services, including professional training and non-formal training to the illiterate as set out in Article 9.1 a), b) and c) of the draft law on reparations.
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