23 March 2010

IDPs accuse Portuguese Republican National Guard of physical assault

Timor Post March 19, 2010 language source: Tetun - Lourenca Lelan and Antonio Varrela from Komoro Sub-district in Dili have accused the United Nations Police from the GNR unit of physical assault against them during a protest by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in front of the Ministry of Social Solidarity in Dili, Thursday.

“The Portuguese police pulled me from behind and told me to go home but I declined …. So he twisted my arms,” said Lelan. Lelan is pregnant.

Antonio Varrela Belo, who saw the event, decided to use his mobile phone to record it. However, he was suddenly beaten and his mobile was confiscated.

“As they started to beat the lady I decided to record the event with my hand-phone but they beat me, twisted my hand and then dragged me to the main road,” he said.

He said that he was deeply sad to be treated as a foreigner in his own country.

MP Inacio Morreira from Fretilin said that since there are a lot of problems facing the IDP dating back to 2006 until now, the UN Police should have not overacted against the IDPs, let alone against a pregnant woman.

He called on the UN to launch an investigation into the case.

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