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

Suai District Court hears cases of assault, domestic violence, abuse of trust, spousal abuse and pregnancy termination, theft, fraud and riot (April 2014)



ETLJB 290/7/2014 JSMP: Summary of the trial process at the Suai District Court - April 2014
     
Case Summary 2014 Suai District Court April 2014

Introduction

In April 2014 JSMP continued to conduct monitoring activities at the Suai District Court. During this Period JSMP managed to observe 18 criminal cases from a total of 30 cases that were heard by the Suai District Court during April 2014. These cases included the trials conducted by the mobile court in Same-Manufahi District.

These 18 cases comprised 5 cases of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence, 4 cases of simple offences against physical integrity, 1 case of aggravated abuse of trust, 1 case of mistreatment against a spouse and termination of pregnancy, 4 cases of aggravated theft, 1 case of aggravated rape and termination of pregnancy, 1 case of ordinary fraud, and 1 case of participation in a riot.

The court has heard and decided 16 of these 18 cases, and the other 2 cases are ongoing.

Whilst monitoring these cases JSMP observed that the court has demonstrated really positive developments in relation to upholding the law. The court heard a case of aggravated sexual abuse and termination of pregnancy and handed down a punishment of 15 years in prison against the step father who committed the offences against his step daughter. JSMP believes that this sentence is proportional to the actions of the defendant, because as a father the defendant has full responsibility to protect his children, unfortunately the defendant himself raped his own step daughter.

JSMP hopes that this decision will serve as a lesson for the community to avoid all forms of sexual abuse in the domestic sphere. JSMP also welcomes the decision of the court that ordered the defendant to pay compensation of US$1,500 to the victim. This is the most concrete and positive step forward in repairing the suffering and harm suffered by the victim as a result of the defendant’s actions. This also serves as a lesson for society that when a person commits sexual violence and domestic violence in particular, that person will pay a hefty price. The defendant will be tried by a court, and will be held responsible for the crime committed and will pay a large amount of compensation to the victim that has been harmed as a result of that criminal act.

In addition, JSMP also notes a really positive development in relation to the facts revealed during the trial. In this case, although the defendant denied the allegations that the defendant used force and threats to have sexual intercourse with the victim, and this statement was corroborated by the victim that the sexual intercourse was not the result of force or violence, the court still convicted the defendant. This is a very positive development in cases involving the sexual abuse of children because the court believes that in cases of sexual abuse against minors the consent of the victim is irrelevant and should not be given any legal consideration.

The information below outlines the cases observed:

U.S. Embassy Dili: Protecting Press Freedom



ETLJB 29/07/2014 Protecting Press Freedom - In the United States, press freedom is a fundamental component of our democratic beliefs, enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution. Why is media freedom so important?  As Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Information is power.  Few people can make a living, hold their governments accountable, and educate their children without a healthy supply of free-flowing information. Citizens need accurate, timely, independent news they can trust.  So do businesses and markets.  And so do governments.

Media freedom keeps societies and economies vibrant, energetic, and healthy.  When the free flow of news and information is restricted, individuals suffer. Societies suffer. Economies suffer. As President Obama has noted, “History shows that one of the ingredients of successful, prosperous, and stable societies is a free press where citizens can freely access information and hold their governments accountable.”

Last month, the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day, and the United States called on all governments to take the steps necessary to create space for independent journalists to do their work without fear of violence or persecution. But press freedom is not something that should be celebrated and cherished on only one day each year – it is an each-and-every-day right - and we honor the role of free and independent media in creating sustainable democracies and open, healthy societies.

The role of a journalist is that of a watchdog, a guardian for the guardians. If a free press does not hold the powerful accountable, then citizens are often without recourse.  One of America's greatest journalists, Edward R. Murrow, said, “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty." We also must not confuse truth-telling with political opposition. The greatest patriots are sometimes the most critical citizens.

The United States appreciates Timor-Leste’s strong international reputation for upholding democracy and respecting human rights.  As Timor-Leste considers new media legislation, we stand with Timorese citizens who know and respect the role of a free press as fundamental to the democratic principles that both of our nations cherish.  Source: Scott Ticknor Chargé d'Affaires U.S. Embassy Dili, Timor-Leste 30 June 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 

Community Policing and Community Security: Theory and Practice in Timor-Leste



ETLJB 29/07/2014 - JSRP Paper 16 Author: Svetlana Djurdjevic-Lukic Date:  June 2014 Download in PDF

This paper offers an appraisal of the Theory of Change developed by The Asia Foundation for its programming on Community Security, with particular reference to support for community policing.  The analytical focus is on the formulation and use of the Theory of Change, the evidence provided for a specific claim within it, and its contribution to the change the Foundation hoped for at both community and national level.   The research is based on fieldwork conducted in Timor-Leste from February to May 2013, as well as desk research and a literature review.  The Executive Summary outlines key findings and offers suggestions for further research.

The author is based at the Public Policy Research Centre in Belgrade and was hosted for her fieldwork by The Asia Foundation office in Dili, Timor-Lest

Source: http://www.lse.ac.uk/internationalDevelopment/research/JSRP/JSRP%20Papers/JSRP-Paper-16.aspx  

25 July 2014

Timor-Leste: The Politics of Purchasing Weapons from Indonesia: A Threat to Security Strategy



ETLJB 25/07/2014 From Fundasaun Mahein - The Politics of Purchasing Weapons from Indonesia: A Threat to Security Strategy

Timor-Leste and Indonesia recently are really enjoying a romantic cooperation in some important sectors. This cooperation has occurred on economic, social, security-related, and even political fronts, as the two countries vie for Timor-Leste's induction to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). This occurs in spite of the historical rivalry between FALINTIL and TNI (Tentara Nasional Indonesia), who were enemies during the Indonesian occupation. It is the first time Timor-Leste appears, 15 years after the people of Timor-Leste separated from Indonesia. It can be said that, though these enemies aimed to kill each other in the past, now these powers are looking to support, lend funds, and sell military equipment to each other. This cooperation can strengthen the relationship between these neighboring countries and serves as an importance means of enhancing good relations, peace, and stability in region.  

But one must consider another angle as well, from the perspective of policy and strategy, if these countries are to depend on each other for military equipment. Enemies can be friends, yet this depends on each county’s interest. Timor-Leste and the Republic Indonesia are developing and dealing with the defense cooperation area, and the main provision of this contract is that Timor-Leste intends to purchase military equipment from PT.PINDAD (Persero) and other entrepreneurs from Indonesia that produce the military’s equipment.

Prior to this, Timor-Leste has purchased weapons on a large scale from the PT.PINDAD (Persero). 75 'PM2-V1' weapons were issued to the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) in 2012. According to the Indonesian media, Timor-Leste will purchase more military equipment. Therefore, Timor-Leste will communicate intensively with Indonesia through the contract that has been signed by leaders of the two countries.

However, Timor-Leste needs to know that Indonesia does not ensure yet management and controlling of the weapons themselves. Some weapons have been used by some terrorists in Asia, entrepreneurs, civilians, and other army groups in Papua. These weapons have also been used in some conflict areas in Indonesia, such as Poso and Maluku. Those weapons are produced by the PT.PINDAD (Persero), and the weapons are being sold by individuals of the National Indonesia Military (TNI) and the Indonesia Republic Polices (POLRI), including weapons stolen from the TNI and POLRI armories.

On another note, Timor-Leste and Indonesia have close boundaries and seas, and this poses a potential threat. If any situation occurs along the border line, Timor-Leste and Indonesia will blame each other if criminals or terrorists use these weapons. Timor-Leste is facing problems in management and control of weapons, according to word spreading among communities in Timor-Leste that illegal weapons exist here. Furthermore, Timor-Leste purchased weapons in 2013 without detail process, and this represents a problem of its own.

Recommendations

1.   FM recommends that the Ministry of Defense and Security perform a review of the policy used in distributing arms and security equipment to the Institution of Security and Defense of Timor-Leste.

2.  Recommends and further adds to the recommendations of the Eventual Commission Investigation that the government needs to consider the  circumstances of international policy and progress in this global era and demands that the government classify information regarding the developing the Defense and Security areas as confidential and hidden from neighboring and non-state actors.

3.  Recommends that the Indonesian government and the elected Republic President, who will assume power for the next five years, review and fortify the control system for weapons at the armories of TNI and POLRI as well as those entrepreneurs that produce the weapons. This is recommended because people from these two countries are concerned, as neighbors, about the possibility of   weapons being used by terrorists, civilian and other army groups as a result of this purchase of weapons. Source: Fundasaun Mahein 24 July 2014 Press Release http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/07/24/politika-sosa-kilat-husi-indonezia-ameasa-ba-estratejia-siguransa-nasional/


See also
PNTL buys PINDAD weapons and PNTL Intelligence Commander loses his semiautomatic assault rifle
Civil society demands investigation into police guns procurement from Indonesia
Police weapons procurement failed to adhere to tender process as MP warns against purchasing arms from Indonesia 

24 July 2014

Baucau District Court hears assault, domestic violence, property damage and arson cases in April 2014



ETLJB 24/07/2014 - The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program has released the English translation of its case summary of proceedings before the Baucau District Court in the month of April 2014. The text of the translation follows.

Summary of the trial process at the Baucau District Court – April 2014

Introduction

In April 2014 JSMP continued its monitoring activities at the Baucau District Court. During this period JSMP monitored 13 cases from a total of 28 cases that were tried at the court.

The 13 cases consisted of 3 cases involving simple offences against physical integrity, 6 cases involving simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence, 1 case of property damage, 1 case of aggravated property damage, 1 case of arson, and 1 other case involving serious offences against physical integrity.

Of these 13 cases, 9 were decided by the court and the remaining 4 cases are still ongoing.

The information below outlines the cases observed:

22 July 2014

Extraordinary Meeting of the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers 10 July 2014



ETLJB 22/07/2014 - The Government met extraordinarily this Thursday, July 10th, 2014, in the Council of Ministers’ meeting room, at the Government’s Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. Government Resolution on the Sao Tome e Príncipe and Guinea-Bissau unpaid contributions

The Government of Timor-Leste decided to exceptionally support São Tomé e Príncipe and Guinea-Bissau in paying their unpaid contributions to the CPLP.

São Tomé e Príncipe and Guinea-Bissau face serious political constraints and economic challenges which affect not only their prospects of fighting poverty but also their national development objectives.

This decision takes into account the strong bonds of friendship, solidarity and spirit of mutual help of the people of CPLP.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Applications for the post of Anti-Corruption Commissioner

Following the withdrawal of the application by the candidate Dr. Sergio Hornai for the election of the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, the Government has chosen new candidates to present to the National Parliament for the election of the Anti-Corruption Commissioner.

2. Organization of the X Conference of Heads of State and Government of CPLP

The Government has made a progress report on the completion of preparations of the various events taking place this July, under the X Conference of Heads of State and Government of CPLP, to be held in Dili, on July 23. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government July 10th, 2014 Press Release


See also FM: After 24 years of Support from the CPLP, Now Dili Holds the Conference for CPLP

Timor Leste oil fund totals US$15.7 billion in the first quarter



ETLJB 22/07/2014 From (macauhub/TL) 18 July 2014 - The Timor Leste (East Timor) Oil Fund at the end of the first quarter of the year totalled US$15.7 billion, according to a report on the fund from the first three months of the year.

At the beginning of 2013 the Fund totalled US$11.8 billion, and at the end of the year had risen to US$14.9 billion.

In 2013, Gross Investment Income generated by the Fund rose by US$865 million.

Government spokesman and Minister of State Ágio Pereira said “the Timor Leste Oil Fund is growing well and generating good returns, which boost its sustainability. Our strategy is to use the Oil Fund to develop critical sectors and supporting the economic diversification of our nation is a positive strategy.”  Source: http://www.macauhub.com.mo/en/2014/07/18/timor-leste-oil-fund-totals-us15-7-billion-in-the-first-quarter/

FM: After 24 years of Support from the CPLP, Now Dili Holds the Conference for CPLP



ETLJB 22/07/2014 From Fundasaun Mahein 18/07/2014 - The “Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa” will finally roll into Dili this coming Thursday (17/07) for a week long conference between countries with a shared Portuguese language. No doubt, the elite that attend this conference will at some point have to drive past the many renovated parks, public areas and repaired roads that have been fixed in anticipation for this conference.

But at what cost has this come for the common person in Dili?

Any person living in Dili has no doubt seen the debris, rubble and dust, that has made the city seem more like a construction site than the Capital City for the past few months leading up to this event. This has caused much frustration and anger from many people unable to access areas they could in the past or from motorists stuck in traffic jams worse than ever before. Many businesses as well have been affected from the construction, due to reduced traffic from road blocks and detours as well as the constant power cuts that are reducing their ability to do business. We ourselves at Fundasaun Mahein, along with everyone else in Balide, have had to endure daily power cuts that go for four hours on average, leaving us unable to continue our work during this time.

Fundasaun Mahein also questions the validity of some of the measures done to prepare Dili for the CPLP conference. Some of these measures, such as creating a park in the middle of a busy roundabout, seem to have very little practical use and don't justify the months of traffic jams necessary to build them. Other measures, such as moving markets from their established spots, have had a very real effect on peoples economic livelihoods, done so the elite ministers don't get bothered at the sight of people trying to make a living.

These preparations for the CPLP have clearly had an impact on the economic security of the many people living in Dili while we here at Fundasaun Mahein are becoming more alarmed that the ongoing haphazard construction is affecting human security as well. We see this everyday with the dust that can cause respiratory health issues, with the rocks strewn on the road that have the potential to fly up and hit unsuspecting pedestrians, and with the careless work done by construction crews. Just last Sunday (13/07) a report came to FM of a one year old baby being hit and killed by a construction vehicle just behind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Fundasaun Mahein also questions the wisdom of bringing in a large amount police officers in from the districts to provide security for the CPLP, leaving many districts understaffed with security personnel. Do the ordinary people in the districts not deserve as much security as the Elite ministers attending the CPLP?

Fundasaun Mahein fully understands that in order for Timor-Leste to become a vibrant prosperous nation these development projects need to happen, however we believe that it is for the ordinary people these developments need to happen instead of being done to impress some elite foreign ministers who have only come for a week long conference.

We hope that after the Conference the government will be able to continue its effort in developing Dili, for the people of Dili, in a safe planned manner done with a minimum of inconvenience for its people. Source: http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/07/18/after-24-years-of-support-from-the-cplp-now-dili-holds-the-conference-for-cplp/ Image added by ETLJB

18 July 2014

HRW: East Timor: Revise Repressive Media Law



East Timorese journalist Jose Belo
ETLJB 180/7/2014 From Human Rights Watch - Official Licensing System Threatens Press Freedom 16 July 2014 New York – East Timor’s president should refuse to sign a new media law until parliament revises provisions that will chill free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s foreign donors should publicly express concern at the attempts by the government of East Timor (also known as Timor Leste) to rollback media freedoms.

The Media Act, which parliament passed at the government’s request on May 6, 2014, raises serious questions about the government’s commitment to freedom of expression by unnecessarily extending government control over the media. East Timor’s Court of Appeal is reviewing the law’s constitutionality in response to a July 14 request by President Taur Matan Ruak.

“The media played a crucial role in East Timor’s long struggle for independence,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “The president should tell parliament that a media law that stifles free expression won’t get his signature.”

The Media Act explicitly enshrines “Freedom of the Press,” “Freedom of Expression,” and “Prohibition of Censorship.” However, several provisions would permit the government to impose severe constraints on journalists and the media.

17 July 2014

Dili District Court conducts mobile court in Ermera and tries six cases of domestic violence from a total of eight cases



ETLJB 17/07/2014 - The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program has released the English translation of its report on monitoring of proceedings in the Dili District Court on 10 and 11 July 2014. The text of the translation follows.

Dili District Court conducts mobile court in Ermera and tries six cases of domestic violence from a total of eight cases

On 10 and 11 July 2014 the Dili District Court conducted a mobile court and tried a total of eight cases. 6 of these cases involved domestic violence, 1 case involved simple offences against physical integrity and the other case involved property damage.

This mobile court program occurred simultaneously with the launch of an expanded mobile court program at the national level that was supported by UNDP, and attended by the Vice Minister of Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Prosecutor-General and Coordinator of the Office of the Public Defender as well as other judicial actors.

JSMP values and welcomes this initiative to expand the mobile court program to provide national coverage, because it will provide the community with greater access, will reduce the financial burden on the people and will promote the formal justice system to the people.

However, JSMP continues to encourage the judicial actors to ensure that the mobile court can function in a safe and secure manner for the parties, especially in relation to cases involving minors. JSMP observed that on some occasions in a certain district the mobile court was not able to manage such situations.

“JSMP hopes that this initiative and program can help the community to access justice, reduce the structural difficulties and obstacles that they face, especially those that live a long distance away from the court,” said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, Executive Director of JSMP.

From these 8 cases, the court decided 4 cases and the other 2 cases are ongoing.

JSMP has observed that most of the 8 cases tried by the mobile court involved ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence. The same trend was observed at the other mobile courts, as well as at the static courts.

The judges who took part in the trials included Duarte Tilman, Jose Maria de Araujo, Antonino Goncalves and Jumiati Maria Freitas. The public prosecution service was represented by Jacinto Babo, Ambrozio Rangel and the defendants were represented by Jose da Silva, Sebastiao de Almeida, Manuel Exposto, and Sergio Quintas from the office of the public defender. Source: JSMP Press Release 14 July 2014

14 July 2014

Summary of the trial process at the Suai District Court in April 2014



ETLJB 14/07/2014 - The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program has released the English translation of its report on monitoring of proceedings in the Suai District Court during the month of April 2014. The text of the translation follows.

Introduction

In April 2014 JSMP continued to conduct monitoring activities at the Suai District Court. During this Period JSMP managed to observe 18 criminal cases from a total of 30 cases that were heard by the Suai District Court during April 2014. These cases included the trials conducted by the mobile court in Same-Manufahi District.

These 18 cases comprised 5 cases of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence, 4 cases of simple offences against physical integrity, 1 case of aggravated abuse of trust, 1 case of mistreatment against a spouse and termination of pregnancy, 4 cases of aggravated theft, 1 case of aggravated rape and termination of pregnancy, 1 case of ordinary fraud, and 1 case of participation in a riot.

The court has heard and decided 16 of these 18 cases, and the other 2 cases are ongoing.

Whilst monitoring these cases JSMP observed that the court has demonstrated really positive developments in relation to upholding the law. The court heard a case of aggravated sexual abuse and termination of pregnancy and handed down a punishment of 15 years in prison against the step father who committed the offences against his step daughter. JSMP believes that this sentence is proportional to the actions of the defendant, because as a father the defendant has full responsibility to protect his children, unfortunately the defendant himself raped his own step daughter.

Meeting of the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers of 8 July 2014



ETLJB 14/07/2014 Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government Dili, July 8th, 2014 Press Release - The 5th Constitutional Government met on July 8th, 2014, in the Council of Ministers’ Meeting Room, at the Government Palace, in Díli, and approved:

1. Decree Law approving the structure of the State Secretariat for Youth and Sports

The program of the 5th Constitutional Government favours youth and sports practice as necessary elements to improve the general well being of the population, essential for the development of the nation.

The Secretary of State for Youth and Sports - under the direct tutelage of the Vice Prime Minister Coordinator for Social Affairs, is the member of the Government responsible for the concept, execution, coordination and evaluation of the policy established and approved by the Council of Ministers, in the areas of promotion of the well-being and development of Youth and Sports.

With the aim of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Secretariat of State for Youth and Sports, this diploma provides a simple and flexible organizational structure for the institution, improved when compared to the previous structure and adapted to the real needs of the institution and the structure of Government.

2. Decree Law that approves the Organic Law of the Secretariat of State for the Promotion of Equality

11 July 2014

What will a new Indonesian President mean for Timor-Leste?



ETLJB 11/07/2014 From Catalyst - The village of Kraras in Timor-Leste is known to some as ‘the village of widows’.

In September of 1983, Indonesian troops opened fire on the village’s unarmed civilians as a part of their ongoing suppression of the Timorese resistance movement. More than 300 people were buried in mass graves.

The Kraras massacre was not the first since the Indonesian occupation began in 1975, nor was it the last. Until Timor-Leste achieved independence in 1999 from 100,000 to 200,000 people were killed, out of a population of only 800 thousand. Thousands of people, especially children, were forcibly removed from the country and taken to Indonesia.

Eyewitnesses and human rights organisations allege the commander of the troops who committed the atrocities in Kraras was Prabowo Subianto. The man who has about a fifty per cent chance of becoming the next President of Indonesia. Read the full story at http://www.rmitcatalyst.com/what-will-a-new-indonesian-president-mean-for-timor-leste/

09 July 2014

Oecusse District Court hearings in April 2014 dominated by domestic violence cases



ETLJB 09/07/2014  - The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring System has released the English translation of its report on monitoring proceedings in the Oecusse District Court during the month of April 2014. The text of the translation follows.

Case Summary Oecusse District Court April 2014 Summary of the trial process at the Oecusse District Court – April 2014

Introduction

In April 2014, JSMP continued its monitoring activities at the Oecusse District Court. During the aforementioned month, JSMP observed 16 criminal cases from a total of 23 cases that were tried at this district court.

These cases comprised 15 cases involving simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence and 1 other case involving ordinary maltreatment and trespass.

Based on the observations of JSMP, the trend is that crimes characterized as domestic violence continue to dominate the trials being heard at the Oecusse District Court. Often JSMP has observed that domestic violence is the most common offence heard at the Oecusse District Court.

In most cases heard during April 2014 a fine was imposed. JSMP believes that this type of penalty is not really effective in cases of domestic violence. This is because a fine will actually place an economic burden on the family and will not repair the physical and psychological harm suffered by victims.

JSMP recommends for the court to award compensation in cases of domestic violence to repair the physical and psychological harm suffered as a result of a defendant’s actions.

The following information summarizes the trials of the aforementioned cases:

1.   Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence – Case No. 09/crime/2014/TDO

HAK: Feb-Apr 2014 Timor-Leste Human Rights Monitoring Report



ETLJB 09/07/2014 - Asosiasaun HAK has just published the most recent of our regular three-monthly "Lian Direitus Umanus" reports which publish the results of our regular human rights monitoring across our six districts - Aileu, Ainaro, Baucau, Dili, Ermera and Viqueque.

We aim to monitor the human rights situation in relation to the security sector, justice, education, agriculture and health by meeting regularly with Xefe Sucos, the District Police Commands, the District Offices of the Ministries of Education, Agriculture and Health, as well as visiting Becora and Gleno Prisons.

Our reports are regularly uploaded to our website http://www.haktl.org/publikasaun/. Reports are generally available in Tetum and English.

We hope these become a useful resource for Government, Civil Society and international organisations. Source: HAK http://www.haktl.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/relatoriu-_monitorizasaun_DU_periudu_feb_abril_2014.-englesh.pdf

08 July 2014

EWER Situation Review October 2013: Border conflict in Oecusse; severe violence fueled by alcohol consumption; attacks by unidentified perpetrators



ETLJB 08/07/2014 From EWER 21 January 2014 Situation Review October 2013 - Inspection of a border demarcation point destroyed as a result of a border dispute between communities in Oecusse (Timor-Leste) and Naibenu (Kefamenanu - Indonesia)

Conflict monitoring for the month of October 2013 recorded high levels of violence resulting in serious injuries or death. In Covalima and Baucau, two cases of stabbings triggered by alcohol consumption were recorded, and in Ermera, a woman was assaulted and then stabbed to death.

Farming in close proximity to the Timor Leste - Indonesian border contributed to increasing tensions between the communities of Lakufoan (Oecusse) and Naibenu (Kefamenanu - Indonesia). Verbal assaults escalated into rock throwing, house burning and property destruction, as well as physical injuries and the fleeing of Lakufoan community members into neighbouring villages. EWER monitoring recorded a total of 5 incidents relating to border conflict in Oecusse during October.

Similar to the previous month, monitoring for October continues to demonstrate a concerning trend of violent attacks by unidentified perpetrators in the evening and early hours.

Full incident reports are available at: www.belun.crowdmap.com ( http://belun.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=28f7ca838aa874deb73e18b95&id=0544e5559e&e=c0be244fd3 ) .

The EWER system is generously supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union through the Instrument for Stability, UNDP and GIZ .

Disclaimer: Information provided by Belun through the EWER Program is provided as a guide only. All incidents are verified to the extent possible. Belun does not accept liability for incorrect data, or decisions arising from the use of the data. Belun asserts that we are the sole authors of this report and that the ideas, opinions and commentary contained within are not intended to reflect or represent those of USAID, the Government of Germany, GIZ, UNDP or the European Union. Source: Situation Review October 2013 (Tetum version distributed in December 2013) English Version ( http://belun.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=28f7ca838aa874deb73e18b95&id=7cd720ccde&e=c0be244fd3 )

Extraordinary Meeting of the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers 02 July 2014



ETLJB 08/07/2014 - The Government met extraordinarily on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014, in the Council of Ministers’ meeting room, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and analysed:

1. Government Decree approving the Magistrates’ Framework for the Judicial Magistracy

The Statute of the Judicial Magistrates determines that the promotion of judicial magistrates depends, apart from other rules of procedure related to experience and test grades, of the existence of a vacancy.

Currently, there are 17 judicial magistrates, except for practitioner judges, with the required experience, thus having one of the requirements for the right to ask for a promotion.

Under proposal from the Higher Council for Judicial Magistracy, this diploma upgrades and modifies the magistrates’ framework for the Judicial Magistracy, which will be annually updated, by joint diploma from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance.

2. Government’s Resolution related to the rescheduling of the Action Plan for the Logistic Base of Suai

This diploma authorizes the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and TIMOR GAP to reschedule the implementation program of the Master Plan for the Logistic Base of Suai, in order to adapt and anticipate the conclusion of the construction of the breakwater, as well as the construction of maritime support facilities to the transfer of oil and derivative products.

This rescheduling became evident with the detailed studies and continuous investigation, which have been developed during the last four years, on safety for construction and operation works, environmental impact and also on economic and financial issues.

The anticipation of the conclusion of the breakwater allows the construction of maritime support facilities to the transfer of oil and derivative products, which will be used by the Betano’s Refinery.

Amongst the various benefits of this rescheduling are the empowerment of the attraction to private national and international investment under the scope of the project, and the exclusion of the need to build maritime facilities exclusively aimed at Suai’s Refinery, thus reducing global costs of Tasi Mane’s project. In addition, it facilitates the implementation of a truly multifunctional and integrated structure, aiming the efficient and safe connection between different infrastructures, included in Tasi Mane’s project.

3. Awarding of tables and chairs to schools

The quality of teaching is one of the priorities of the Government, which is committed towards providing the best conditions to students from all the schools in the country. Accordingly, in order to find a solution to the lack of school materials in many schools, especially in rural zones, specifically tables and chairs, the Council of Ministers approved the purchase of one hundred thousand sets of school tables and chairs, with specific characteristics for the conditions of national schools.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Arbitration Process in Singapore

The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources presented to the Government the progress report on the Arbitration Process taking place at the International Arbitration Centre of Singapore.

2. Debts to Timor Telecom

Following the session of the National Parliament, last June 25th, on the debts of the State to Timor Telecom, the Council of Ministers analysed the issue aiming to find an effective solution for the payment of the debt.

3. Allocation of vehicles for the 10th Conference of Heads of State and Government of the CPLP

The Government approved the requisition of 350 vehicles belonging to the State, in order to support the displacements of the various delegations, which will be in Timor-Leste, under the scope of the CPLP’s Summit. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government Dili, July 2nd, 2014 Press Release http://timor-leste.gov.tl/?p=10259&lang=en


06 July 2014

East Timorese Protect Land Rights Against Australian Cement Plant Deal



ETLJB 06/07/2014 From Global Voices 21 April 2014 - The announcement of a new cement plant project by an Australian company in Baucau, northeast of East Timor, has led local community groups to set up a non-governmental organization “to protect and preserve the communities’ rights to their culture, development and traditional land rights.” Read the full story here: Source: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/04/21/east-timor-land-rights-australia-cement-plant-deal/

04 July 2014

Timor-Leste’s Court of Appeal and Counterpart International Sign Agreement to Strengthen District Court Functionality and Increase Access to Justice



East Timor Court of Appeal Chambers
ETLJB 04/07/2014 Dili, Timor-Leste (3 July 2014) –  Today the Court of Appeal and Counterpart International signed an agreement to work together to strengthen district court functionality and increase access to justice through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Ba Distrito project.  Ba Distrito is a 4 year, $6,000,000 project funded by the American people through USAID and implemented by Counterpart International and its partner Tetra Tech DPK.

The overall goal of the Ba Distrito project is to strengthen local governance and improve access to justice. Guided by the Government of Timor-Leste’s (GoTL’s) Strategic Development Plan and the Justice Sector Strategic Plan, Ba Distrito aims to support the GoTL’s efforts in bringing access to justice closer to the community in the rural areas through the provision of free legal aid services to the poor and strengthening the functionality of district courts.  The justice components of the project will be piloted in Baucau and Oecusse districts.

Throughout the life of the project, USAID’s Ba Distrito project will work closely with Timor-Leste’s Court of Appeal and the Ministry of Justice to strengthen the institutional and human capacity of the district courts to respond more effectively to demands for justice  and increase court functionality in order to make the district courts more accessible to the poor and vulnerable.

Complementary to supporting these efforts to improve court functionality and efficiency, Ba Distrito also works closely with local civil society and legal aid organizations to bring legal education campaigns to rural areas, provide free legal aid services to the poor and disadavantaged members of community, monitor the effectiveness of the formal justice system, and contribute to the GoTL’s efforts to create an integrated, sustainable, and responsive framework for the provision of legal aid services in the country. Currently, Ba Distrito is supporting the Timor Loros’ae Lawyers’ Association (AATL), the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) and Fundacão Fatuk Sinae Oecusse (FFSO) to engage in these activities. Additional grants will be developed and competetively awarded to local organizations to implement access to justice activities in districts where USAID’s Ba Distrito project is being implemented.

Commenting on contributions that the Ba Distrito project would make to justice in Timor-Leste, President of the Court of Appeal, the Honorable Justice Guilhermino da Silva commented that the project would “expand justice to the rural areas and speed up the resolution process in the Courts”.

Notable progress has been made by GoTL, with support from development partners, to strengthen the judiciary and improve access to justice. However persistent challenges remain.  “Ba Distrito will work together with the district courts themselves to first identify and then prioritize areas for improvement.  Through this collaborative approach, Ba Distrito will be able to target its support in each pilot district court to create lasting positive changes in functionaltiy that will improve access to justice for vulnerable and rural populations” said Carolyn Tanner, Chief of Party for Counterpart International.

USAID’s Ba Distrito project is managed by Counterpart international. Its access to justice components are implemented by sub-grantee Tetra Tech DPK which has carried out access to justice and rule of law programs in over 40 countries.  The Ba Distrito project, which will run until 23 September 2017, is being implemented in 5 Districts starting first in Baucau, Covalima, and Oecusse and extending into Ermera and Liquica districts next year.

The signing ceremony was attended by the President of Court of Appeal the Honorable Justice Guilhermino da Silva; other judges and judicial officals; representatives of USAID, Tetra Tech DPK and Counterpart International;  Mr. Luis Sampaio Oliveira the Executive Director of Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP); and representatives from the Timor-Leste Private Lawyers Association (AATL) and legal aid organisation Fundasaun Fatuk Sinae Oecusse (FFSO). Source: Ba Distrito Project, Counterpart International Press Release 03/07/2014 

03 July 2014

Gender-Based Violence in Dili and Baucau District Courts January 2014



ETLJB  03/07/2014 JSMP's monitoring of gender based violence cases in the Dili and Baucau District Courts during January 2014 -  In January 2014 the Women’s Justice Unit of JSMP continued its observation of cases involving gender based violence at the Dili District and Baucau District Courts.

This edition will summarize the trials of 7 cases. 3 of these cases weretried at the Dili District Court and the other 4 cases were tried at the Baucau District Court.

From these 7 cases, 6 were categorized as simple offences against physical integrity and the other case involved a joinder of crimes.From the aforementioned cases, 2 resulted in prison sentences with suspended execution, and in 5 cases the parties have provided their final recommendations, and in the case involving a joinder of crimes evidence is still being examined.

The information below summarizes each case:

02 July 2014

Security in Timor-Leste: A great leap backwards and growing dysfunction of security forces, says Fundasaun Mahein



ETLJB 02/07/2014 From Fundasaun Mahein - Last Friday (27/06) marked a great leap backwards for the security of Timor-Leste. Not one but two incidents show the growing dysfunction of the security forces towards each other and to the people of this land.

The first incident seems to be an indictment on the attitude that now seems to pervade the PNTL.

Around the afternoon of the 27 June 2014 a deranged man wielding a chain entered Timor Plaza and proceeded to run amok. He damaged at least some stores, threatened numerous people and created a general panic in the mall. Police after detaining the suspect for a brief period allowed him to go free. Their explanation for letting him go; he had mental problems, was on drugs and was also the son of a PNTL commander. They left soon after but not before suggesting that Timor Plaza tighten up their security.

This indecent suggests that PNTL have become either unwilling or too lazy to do their job when presented with an “open and shut case”. There were numerous complainants, witnesses and victims in this case that could have testified very easily against the suspect. Also as the police themselves noted the suspect was on under the influence of drugs, at last check, a crime in Timor-Leste. The last excuse given by police, that the suspect was the son of a commander, has confirmed what many of us have long suspected; that justice depends on who you know or who you are related to.

The second, more serious incident, of the day came from a breakdown of discipline in the PNTL Battalion Order Public (BOP) station in Ai-Mutin. In this incident junior officers attacked senior officers in a very serious breakdown of military discipline and hierarchy in this battalion.

Fundasaun Mahein, through its ongoing monitoring of the security sector, is aware that a lot of smaller incidents of excessive force against civilians goes unreported in the districts. We believe that this latest breakdown in the discipline of the PNTL-BOP comes as a direct cause from this culture of violence to resolve issues that has been allowed to pervade the security forces.

We are also very concerned as the last great breakdown of discipline in the security sector was one of the main causes of the 2006 crisis.

All together the main consequence of these two incidents is the breakdown of trust between the public and the security sector organisations. If a citizen does not trust the security organisations to be able or willing to provide that security to them how can they trust the government that oversees these organisations either.

Fundasaun Mahein believes that these two incidents need to be addressed as quickly as they can to stop any further erosion of confidence in the security sector as well as to stop any further lapses in discipline in the armed forces.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends the following

1) For the PNTL and PNTL-BOP to immediately conduct inquiries into the incidents that occured on the 27/06

2) For PNTL-BOP to punish all junior officers responsible for attacking senior officers.

3) For the officers responsible for letting the suspect that attacked Timor Plaza to be held accountable for their actions. Source: Fundasaun Mahein http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/07/02/growing-insecurity-in-timor-leste/

Infancticide and baby abandonment in Timor-Leste difficult to prosecute due to lack of witnesses



ETLJB 02/07/2014 -  ETLJB has recorded cases of baby abandonment and infanticide over the last several years (see more links below). According to a report in The Dili Weekly on 23 May 2014, police encounter difficulties in locating the perpetrators because of a lack of witnesses to the crimes.

Acting Chief of Criminal Investigations (SIK) Inspector Manuel Alves is reported to have said that last year there were three cases of babies being dumped.

The first was in March, when members of the Tasi Tolu community found a dead baby in a rubbish bin.

A second dead child was found in April in Kampung Tuti-Bebonuk.

Another child was found alive in May in Vilaverde. The Vilaverde child is now a ward of the state.

No suspects have been identified in any of the cases.

A Member of Parliament, Josefa Alvares Soares, is also reported to ahve said that abandoning babies was a crime and should be investigated and suspects tried in accordance with the law. She said despite the fact a lack of witnesses made it difficult for the police to find suspects, Police Intelligence had a duty to bring culprits to justice.

"If we just let it go, it will be easy for people to continue doing these actions,” MP Soares said. Source: The Dili Weekly http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/security-defencejustice/12452-lack-of-witnesses-frustrates-investigators-of-baby-dumping 


Suspended sentence in infanticide case in East Timor no deterrent
Growing numbers of women "throwing away" their babies in Timor-Leste
Corpse of discarded baby in Dili partly eaten by dogs
Monsignor Ricardo: Act of throwing away baby against human dignity
Killing babies is a crime, says Bishop Nacimento
Police have identified female suspected of abandoning baby in Ailok Laran
Baby's body brought home by dog
Dili bishop condemns baby killings

Husband attacks wife with hammer and knocks her unconscious with rock



ETLJB 02/07/2014 The Dili Weekly reported on 11 June 2014 on a case of domestic violence in which a husband attacked his wife with a hammer and knocked her unconscious by throwing a rock at her.

The husband, known in court as MF, said he attacked his wife, known as MB, because she did not take adequate care of his extended family.

The incident took place in Liquisa in May 2012.

MB told the court that at about 5pm, she returned home from the market to find her intoxicated husband waiting for her.

With a hammer in his hand, he followed her into the bedroom.

“My child then lay down on the bed crying when he saw (my husband) was about to hit me.I dodged suddenly so he hit the cupboard instead of me,” MB said.

She said her husband threw a rock at her as she fled, causing her to lose consciousness.

MB told the court her husband attacked her whenever she returned from the market.

“I don’t know why he always does harm to me,” MB said.

The court heard MB sold goods in the market while her husband worked on a farm to make enough money to feed their three children and pay their school fees.

MF said he was angry with his wife as he felt she treated his family poorer than her own.

“Since she makes money, she only gives money to her family who visit us but not for my family, who sometimes goes back home and brings nothing,” the defendant said.  

He said he beat his wife because she did not comply with his instructions to treat family and her own the same.

After hearing of the evidence of the victim and defendant, judge president Duarte Tilman handed down a suspended sentence to the victim. Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/security-defencejustice/12502-mb-fell-fainted-for-treating-families-unequally

01 July 2014

Drug Threat is a Challenge for the Security Institutions to Combat



ETLJB 01/07/2014 From Fundasaun Mahein 7 APril 2014 - Mahein’s Voice No. 74 analyses the threat of drugs and their impact for Timor-Leste. This includes challenges which are faced by Security Institutions for further combating. Drug issues are increasingly becoming a public concern in Timor-Leste as the flow of drugs into Timor-Leste increases, posing a threat to Timorese youth that are increasingly turning to them.

This report cites a number of Timorese that have been recruited by drugs syndicates to be the distributors and consumers of drug, threatening a new generation of the nation. From evidence gathered, artist Juga Frans Xavier Gama (Juga Gama), was apprehended by the PNTL after a raid on his house on the 11th of December 2012 for the distribution and use of drugs. This report also cites the actions of the KIBATA group in 2013 that caused a Marconi youth to die from the overconsumption of drugs.

FM’s report also provides evidence that foreigners have used Timor-Leste as a transit place for the purchase and sale of drugs. This is becoming a larger problem in Timor-Leste due to the porous land and sea borders and perceived fragility of the security sector.  A better system of control is thus needed to reduce the amount of foreign citizens who are bringing in drugs to Timor-Leste.

In addition to this Timor-Leste has no law on drugs, this presents an even larger challenge to the security institutions in combat this threat when there is no defined law or policies associated to it policing it. In spite of this FM has noted a strong effort by the PNTL to arrest foreign nationals as well as Timorese involved in the drug trade. This however still presents a great challenge due to Timor-Leste’s large border that allows drug networks to easily invest in the country.

This is a great threat to all Timorese as Drug trafficking is a transnational crime which threatens the country’s future by destroying many a young Timorese’s future through addiction and allowing organized crime syndicates to get set up in the country.

FM’s recommendations.

1.    Recommends to the Ministry of Justice to accelerate the draft law over drugs trafficking and illicit consumption of drugs to the Council of Ministry.

2.    Recommends to the Security Authorities such as UPF, UPM, Migration Services, Taxes and Quarantines to co-ordinate their efforts to help combat the use and distribution of drugs in Timor-Leste.  Source: http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/04/07/ameasa-droga-dezafiu-ba-instituisaun-siguransa-atu-kombate/ 

Concerns about access to justice in Timor-Leste and how the justice system treats ordinary citizens and state officials



ETLJB 01/07/2014 (From JSMP Press Release 10 February 2014) - Members of Raifun Village, Bobonaro District raised their concerns about access to justice and the way the justice system treats ordinary citizens and high ranking officials

On 5 February 2014 the Legal Research Unit (LRU) and the Outreach Unit of the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) provided training to residents of Raifun Village, Bobonaro District. The training was attended by members of the village administrative structure such as the Village Chief, Sub-Village Chief, elders and youth representatives. 30 participants attended the training, comprising 14 males and 16 females.

The training encompassed human rights, the role of judges, prosecutors, private lawyers and public defenders, the classification of criminal cases and how criminal cases dealt are dealt with through the formal justice system.     

During the training session the participants expressed their serious concerns and confusion about the concept of children's rights which often cause children to misuse their rights and parents have lost their right to control their children. In addition, they also expressed concern about the different way that the law treats ordinary citizens and high ranking officials or rich people, as well as the formal justice process and the work of lawyers and the capacity of citizens to obtain quality lawyers to represent them in court.             

“This confusion has arisen because the community does not receive reliable information and does not have the opportunity to access correct information. This requires a combined effort from the relevant government institutions and we hope that this training activity can clarify several issues relating to public doubt and confusion about the functioning of the formal justice system through the community leaders,” said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis Oliveira Sampaio.                                                                        

In his opening speech the Chief of Raifun Sub-Village, Alberto Amaral, expressed his gratitude at the presence of JSMP in his village, and also because this training activity can distribute important information about the legal process to members of his village.                                                                                                                                    

Therefore, he requested and encouraged the participants of this training to pay maximum attention to the materials delivered by the facilitator so that they would not immediately forget the information and so they would be able to pass it on to other members of the community.    

The Chief of Raifun Sub-Village, Manuel Lacasari, recommended for JSMP to help pass on the message to the competent institutions to pay attention to children who have been neglected by their parents, so they can establish a shelter for them.

JSMP has a plan to conduct the same training on 13 February 2014 in Ermera District. Source:JSMP Press Release 10/02/2014)

Up-date for security situation in Timor Leste: National stability attempt in the beginning of 2014



ETLJB 01/07/2014 - (From Fundasaun Mahein 10/01/2014) Mahein Foundation is a civil society organization which is makes its legal profession by monitoring and doing research for the security and defense issues in terms of politic, legislation and funds for security and defense institution in Timor-Leste. In the beginning of the New Year Mahein Foundation will make a study concerning violence and crime cases that happened during Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014 periods.

After Christmas’ holidays 2013 and New Year 2014. Mahein Foundation will continue to monitor for security safety in Timor-Leste generally. Mahein Foundation’s monitoring has gathered problems that happened during Christmas and New Year periods particularly crime and violence cases. Based on the study has described such following cases that are people killed each other, young people attacked each other and also against police including unknown people who attacked some police members. It means that various crime and violence cases occurred during Christmas and New Year holidays which is considering as a national stability attempt for 2014 even though those cases are in small levels.

Such security problems that happening in the beginning of Christmas and New Year periods are, on 29 Decembers 2013 in Baucau,Baguia sub-district a PNTL member sergeant Armindo da Cruz was attacked by unknown people. A young man killed by PNTL in Balibo on 3 January 2013. Unknown people killed a young man in Becora Bridge on 4 January 2014. And some police member who threatened some young people with pistol in Bobonaro district and other cases are physical aggression in Dili city during Christmas and New Year periods.

Mahein Foundation’s analyses that, those (crimes and violence) cases which is happening in the beginning of 2014 is the causes of social injustice, which is shown big weakness of the security area. Late of Justice Process as well as weak application of the law itself will provoke tension of the conflict becomes reality. Those (Crime and violence) cases that always occurred have provoked authorities to pay attention for. However the competent authorities do not pay maximum attention for those cases and the prevention mechanism that goes very slow and still fail.

Those (crime and violence) acts that happening in the beginning of 2014 is like a step of chance by starting violence and crime for this (2014) new period in the future. If leaders of the nation and the security authorities do not make adequate prevention it will create very complexity problems in the future. The problems become high if we do not resolve the current problems that are happening.

Mahein Foundation’s point of view is needed to make security evaluation periodically and regularly for the security situation as well as performance of security authors particularly PNTL-F-FDTL members to maintain duties professionally based on democratic values. Source: http://www.fundasaunmahein.org/2014/01/09/up-date-siguransa-iha-timor-leste-tentativa-estabilidade-nasional-hahu-2014/

Meeting of the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers of 24 June 24 2014



ETLJB 01/07/2014 - The 5th Constitutional Government met on June 24th, 2014, in the Council of Ministers’ Meeting Room, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. Draft Resolution for the ratification of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation

This diploma aims the ratification of the multilateral agreement, establishing the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Timor-Leste finished the international binding process of the State to the ILO in 2003, through the formal acceptance of the rights and the obligation of its Constitution, as a constitutive multilateral agreement. However, despite this international binding of the State, according to the provisions of the Constitution of the ILO, it should now be completed the internal procedure for the due ratification of the Constitution of the ILO, according to this Draft- Resolution, being submitted to the National Parliament.

2. Draft-Resolution for the approval of the Agreement between the Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of the People’s Republic of China to Visa Waver to the Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports

Visa exemption on diplomatic and official passports between the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste aims to facilitate the work of their due officers and diplomatic officials.

This visa exemption will be valid for entry, permanence and movement, in both countries, for a period not exceeding 30 days.

3. Government Resolution approving the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the People’s Republic of China

This diploma follows the signature, on April 2014, of the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the People’s Republic of China.

This agreement aims the promotion of economic and technical cooperation between both countries, through the provision by the Government of the People's Republic of China of a donation of sixty million Yuans Renminbi to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

4. Decree-Law approving the Statute of the Archive and Museum of the Timorese Resistance

This diploma approves the Statute of the Archive and Museum of the Timorese Resistance. This Public Institute is endowed of administrative, technical and financial autonomy and its own heritage.

The Archive and Museum of the Timorese Resistance (AMTR) was established in 2005, with the primary mission of preserving, enhancing and promoting the memory of the Resistance and the culture of the Timorese people, as well as the national historical heritage.

The Council of Ministers also analysed:

1. Initial National Communication of Timor-Leste, in the aim of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The introduction of this document follows the ratification, by Timor-Leste, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from October 2006 and the Kyoto Protocol on the UNFCCC, from October 2008. According to the UNFCCC, Timor-Leste has an obligation to submit its Initial National Communication to the Convention of the Parties (CoP). The document started being developed with the collaboration of a group of interveners, amongst local government institutions, representatives from the academic world and non-governmental organizations.

The Initial National Communication includes recommendations that reflect a careful study on climate situation in Timor-Leste, which, as the Prime Minister refers on the foreword of the document, “serve as key instruments to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies, being also a mechanism that allows the opening to political dialogue and raises public awareness on climate change''. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government 17 June 2014 Press Release http://timor-leste.gov.tl/?p=10197&lang=en

Timor-Leste Courts Rule for ConocoPhillips in Tax Cases: "Conoco Phillips Appreciates Dili District Court's Independence on Tax Cases"



ETLJB 01/07/2014 Jornal Independente Monday, 30 June 2014 - Timor-Leste Courts Rule for ConocoPhillips in Tax Cases: "Conoco Phillips Appreciates Dili District Court's Independence on Tax Cases"

The head representative of the International Company ConocoPhillips in Timor-Leste, Jose Lobato, said that he greatly appreciates the independent workings of the Dili District Court in dealing with the tax cases where the Timor-Leste government alleged that the company failed to pay a large amount of taxes.

Lobato said that they are still awaiting for the decision from the arbitration in Singapore regarding these cases.

But, Lobato said that he did not agree with the accusation made by the government that the company is yet to pay taxes for many months in the past.

The tax assessment by the government against ConocoPhillips each year was incorrect, because ConocoPhillips each year always paid the taxes due to the state and sometimes even paid more than they were obliged to, he said.

"(The government), if I am not wrong said that we did not pay our taxes, I don't know which taxes? Under which obligations have our company not paid? That I do not know? The obligations of the company are to pay royalties, taxes on profits and duties, sometimes we paid more than our obligations, because each year, we always paid our taxes as we were obliged to, and we believe we have paid everything as required under Timor-Leste law," said Jose Lobato.

Lobato made these remarks during a 2 day colloquium on 26-27 June last in which he was a speaker to deepen knowledge and disseminate information to the media regarding natural resource management pursuant to EITI standards organized by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, held at the Jacinto Supermarket conference room, in Kuluhun, Dili.

The chronology regarding these tax cases goes back to 2010 when the government issued tax assessments under four classifications that the company had failed to pay taxes worth US$227,000.00, alleging the company had failed to pay, despite the company having paid what it asserts was its full tax obligation.

According to him, after they had paid all of their taxes, the government continued to pressure them, so they looked for am amicable solution taking the government to arbitration court in Singapore, the decisions of which they now await from the judges.

"After having paid it all, we tried in good faith to resolve the case, tried to negotiate regarding the interpretation of some points claimed, that is what we tried to do," Lobato said.

Lobato said that it appears that at the time these cases were taken to the Dili District Court, the chief advisor leading the ministry of finance team was someone named Bobby Boye.

"We took the cases to the Dili District Court, then when these cases were taking a long time to be decided we took the cases to arbitration in Singapore, so the cases were both in the Dili District Court and in arbitration in Singapore," said the son of President Nicolau Lobato.

According to him these two sets of cases taken to the courts were properly decided under Timor-Leste law.

ConocoPhillips has always been confident that the tax assessments by the government were issued on the basis of bad advice, not in accordance with Timor-Leste law nor the Timor Sea Treaty," said Lobato.

The Dili District tribunal delivered its decision in relation to seven cases, but ConocoPhillips has taken 28 cases, with the courts deciding on seven cases only, but ruling in Cavour of ConnocoPhillips and ordering the government to instead to the company US$20,000 or so in costs, said Lobato.

"ConocoPhillips really appreciates  the work of the Timorese judges in delivering this impartial and independent decision from the Dili District Court," he said.

"Indeed I am satisfied with the Dili District Court which has shown its impartiality, it's Independence in relation to a political decision, and this is very important for Timor-Leste because if we want serious investors to come to Timor-Leste, then the courts have to show they are independent," he added. Source: Jornal Independente Monday, 30 June 2014 

Extraordinary Meeting of the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers of 30 November 2013



ETLJB 01/07/2014 - The Government met extraordinarily on 30 November, 2013, at the Council of Ministers meeting room, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved:

1. Amendment to the Execution Document of the General State Budget for 2013

This amendment delays the term for submission, at the Treasury Office, of the payments of Ministries and State Bodies from November 29th, 2013 to December 6th, 2013.

2. Decree-Law approving the Payment of one month of basic salary to the public sector

This diploma approves the extraordinary payment, of unique nature, of one month of basic salary to servants and agents, even if considered temporary but hired at least one year ago, to Public Service managers, to the ones named in article 2nd of this Decree-Law and to the members of State sovereignty bodies.

This decision is taken considering the policy of preservation, appreciation and acknowledgment of the human resources connected to Government Public Administration.

3. Contract for the Establishment of National Registry and of the Registry of Land Parcels in Timor-Leste
Following the approval, on last October 7th, of the Resolution approving the Procurement Process for the project of Establishment of the National Registry, the Council of Ministers approved, at this extraordinary meeting, the terms for the contract to be signed with Grupo Media Nacional’s consortium – GMN, Holding and Arm Apprize. Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers V Constitutional Government Dili, November 30th 2013 Press Release 

EWER: Situation Review April 2014, PNTL - F-FDTL joint operation against "illegal groups" in Timor-Leste



ETLJB 01/07/2014 - Situation Review: April 2014 In April, Belun continued monitoring for violent incidents and changes in the security situation across all 13 districts of Timor-Leste. The April Situation Review presents the monitoring results of the implementation of Parliamentary Resolution Number 5/2014 and Council of Ministers Resolution 8/2014 regarding "illegal groups". In addition, the Situation Review summarizes all other incident data from April, with a special focus on violent incidents that involved young people. To read the full Review, please click the link below.

April 2014 Situation Review -- http://belun.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=28f7ca838aa874deb73e18b95&id=44cba90c05&e=2e39927994

Iha fulan Abril 2014, Belun kontinua monitorizasaun  insidente violensia  no  mudansa situasaun ne'ebé hetan husi Distritu 13 iha Timor- Leste.  Revista situasaun fulan Abril,  Belun kontinua publika rezultadu monitorizasaun kona- ba rezolusaun Parlamentu Nasionál Númeru 5/2014, no rezolusaun Konselu Ministru Númeru 8/2014 kona -ba operasaun no atuasaun ba grupu ilegál. Sorin seluk mós, hatudu dadus kona ba insidente hotu li liu  insidente ne’ebé involve joven iha asaun violénsia, no insidente seluk tan ne’ebé mak kobre durante monitorizasaun.  Atu klaru liu, ita bo’ot sira bele vizita ka klik iha link tuir mai ne'e:

Revista Situasaun Abril 2014,-- http://belun.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=28f7ca838aa874deb73e18b95&id=ef6d3f9d7d&e=2e39927994
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