02 July 2014

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 

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