22 August 2008

UNMIT: Oecussi residents call for justice at UNMIT Outreach

From "UNMIT Weekly" No. 54

Oecussi residents call for justice at UNMIT Outreach Meeting

When will those responsible for committing serious crimes be indicted?

What will happen now that the findings of the Commission on Truth and Friendship have been published?

Will the recommendations of the CAVR report be carried out? These were just some of the questions posed by community members to a panel of Government officials and human rights experts at a recent outreach meeting organized by UNMIT in Oecussi.

Among the officials on hand to answer questions were Member of Parliament Fernanda Borges, UNMIT senior Investigator Marek Michon, Deputy-Provedor for Human Rights Silvino Saldanha Pereira, UNMIT Human Rights Officer Luis Gomez-Orodea, and Director of Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat, Reverend Agostinho Vasconcelos."

The United Nations is committed to assisting Timor-Leste with investigating the cases of serious crimescommitted in 1999," Mr. Michon told the gathering. He emphasized that the decision to prosecute restsexclusively with the Office of the Prosecutor-General as a sovereign organ of State.

Ms. Borges said the Prosecutor-General's office was understaffed and needed more resources. She urged the community to be more active to persuade elected officials to act according to the will of the people.

Approximately 42 community leaders, representatives of NGOs and relatives of victims of serious crimes attended the meeting on 11 August. Organized around the theme 'Peace and Justice in Timor-Leste,' it was the first of 13 meetings that will be held throughout the country to introduce the work of UNMIT's Serious Crimes Investigation Team to the public.


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