18 June 2014
One half of 42 cases before Suai District Court involved domestic violence
Between 28 May and 30 May 2014, the Suai District Court conducted a mobile court in Bobonaro and tried 42 cases.
These 42 cases comprised 39 criminal cases and 3 civil cases. The criminal cases comprised 4 cases of simple assault, 21 cases of domestic violence, 4 cases of rape, 1 case of sexual coercion, 1 case of sexual abuse against a minor, 2 cases of making threats, 1 case of aggravated property damage, 1 case of aggravated theft, 1 case of serious assault, 1 case of manslaughter, 1 case of crimes against flora and fauna, and 1 case of property damage. The 3 civil cases comprised 1 land dispute and 2 cases regarding alimony.
The mobile court concluded 30 of the 42 cases, whilst the remaining 12 cases are ongoing.
JSMP observed that most of the cases heard by the mobile court involved gender based violence (27 of the 42 cases tried). This is quite a significant amount for three days of court hearings. In almost all of the monitoring conducted by JSMP, it is apparent that the trials conducted via the mobile court or the district courts are dominated by crimes of violence against women and girls.
“JSMP hopes that the presence of the mobile court in rural areas will increase public awareness that domestic violence and violence against women are serious crimes and those involved will be held accountable for their actions in accordance with the nature and seriousness of each case,” said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, the Executive Director of JSMP.
JSMP believes that the mobile court program not only reduces the back-log of cases, but it brings justice closer to rural communities. The mobile court also has a significant social impact by deterring gender based violence through appropriately punishing such crimes.
The mobile court was conducted by the following judges: Alvaro Maria Freitas, Costansio Barros Bâsmery, Argentino Luisa Nunes, Pedro R. de Figueiredo and Florencia Freitas. The public prosecution service was represented by Benvinda da Costa do Rosario and Antonio da Silva Tavares and the defendants were given legal assistance by public defenders Joao Henrique de Carvalho and Manuel Amaral. Source: JSMP Press Release 03 June 2014