31 August 2009

East Timor Student Front press statement on arrests

Statement from Student Press conference:

Press Conference

National University of Timor-Leste, Kaikoli, Dili
31 August 2009

The Timor-Leste Student Front condemns the attitude of the members of the National Police in relation to the arrest of the students when they would like to demonstrate their solidarity to the people in other countries that are still struggling for independence, on August 30th 2009. Therefore the Students' Front condemns this attitude which is not a example of professionalism of the National Police. Our position is as follows:

1. The Students' Front of Timor-Leste disagrees and laments the attitude of the PNTL officers, who aggressively arrested three students in front of the Hotel Timor.

2. We urge the government to improve the professionalism of the PNTL so that they can serve the rule of law with professionalism in the future.

3. We call to the state institutions of Timor-Leste to maintain and secure the RDTL constitution, especially article 10 that states that the Republic Democratic of TL is also in solidarity with other people who are struggling to liberate their country.

4. We condemn the attitude of the PNTL which showed disrespect to the "Freedom of Expression" that is guaranteed in the Constitution of RDTL.

5. We urge the PNTL to cancel the decision to extend the detention into 72 hours, because according to the law it needs strong evidence of crime to do so. They might extend it to 72 hours, but the students did not commit a crime.

6. We urge the Police to release the three students within the time limit starting from 9 am until before 3 pm. If the they haven't been released within the time limit, we will organize the Youth Front, the Street Vendors and the people of Maubere to organize a demonstration in front of the National Police.

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