Timor-Leste Legal News November 2007 (Part 1)
In massacre anniversary, leader of Timor charges Indonesia Lusa 12 of November of 2007 – Dili – Indonesia “knows where the bodies are” of the victims of the Santa Cruz Massacre, that happened in 1991, affirmed in this monday president of the Parliament of Timor Leste, Fernando “La Sama” of Araújo.
“The government of Timor East has information” on what happened to the bodies of the victims, “but we are to the wait of the opening of the government of Indonesia and, especially, of the indonésios military, it stops saying in them where they are the bodies, because they know” declared the president of the National Parliament in the end of the ceremony that designated plus an anniversary of the massacre of 12 of November of 1991.
Fernando “Sama” of Araújo considered “politics” the lack of any forensic inquiry until the moment There on the Santa Cruz Massacre.
“It is a polical problem. [The Indonesia occupation] was a crime, but related with the politics. And we have to see the two parts”, Fernando “La Sama” de Araújo explained.
The only commission of inquiry created in 16 years was the one that the indonesias authorities had sent to Dili soon after the massacre.
In relation to the requirement of an international court for Timor Leste, formulated by many young in the commemorations of the anniversary of this monday, the president of the National Parliament considered that “the justice process is not to be stopped”.
“The political process does not go to stop the process of justice”, guaranteed, saying on the Commission of the Truth and Friendship created for Indonesia and Timor East to investigate the crimes committed in 1999.
In its speech ahead of the Cemetary of Santa Cruz, Fernando “La Sama” de Araújo asked that the 12 of November, national holiday in Timor Leste, was “one day of reflection on the idealism, the nationalism and the patriotism of that generation”.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 13 November 2007
TVTL Summary News
Commemoration of Santa Cruz Massacre 1991: In Dili, on the 16th commemoration of the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre, the victims and their families are asking the government to honor those who sacrificed themselves for the freedom of the nation by following in their footsteps and proclaiming the day as National Youth Day.
15 and 16 November: F-FDTL dialogue with the petitioners – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that the government and the F-FDTL will hold two day talks on Thursday and Friday this week with the petitioners in Aileu district. “The dialogue has no relation to Alfredo Reinado. The dialogue is not with the government. Everyone knows that the F-FDTL is the one who should frankly conduct the dialogue with the petitioners as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry (COI),” affirmed the Prime Minister to journalists on Sunday in Dili. (STL)
TL government defends justice – The Vice Prime Minister, Jose Luis Guterres said that the government of Timor-Leste will try to stand up for justice, especially for the victims of the Santa Cruz massacre and to strengthen the relationship with the government of Indonesia. Mr. Guterres said that the report on the victims of the massacre will be provided to the Indonesian government. “The International Tribunal is created by the United Nations through the Security Council. The government has been given options which it has provided to the Commission of Friendship and Truth (CTF). Timor-Leste and Indonesia are still working together to solve the 1999 crisis. CTF’s effort is to guarantee peace and to strengthen the two nations.’” said the vice prime minister. (STL)
Australia not a member of the International Criminal Court – “All the people of Timor-Leste are vulnerable to ISF abuse, if the national parliament does not ratify the presence of International Security Forces (ISF) because Australia is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC)”, said a member of parliament. “Australian and USA are not members of the ICC which means they may have immunity when their military forces commit crimes in other nations,” said Mr. Cecilio Caminha of the CNRT. (TP)
President Ramos-Horta: “Alfredo’s case is different with the petitioners” – President José Ramos-Horta said that the cases of Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners are different. The petitioners’ case is a social, economic and political case while Alfredo’s case is about justice.
Today, the government brings the ISF accord to parliament – The vice president of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres said that today (Tuesday 13/11) the government is going to submit a proposed accord between the government and the ISF, to be studied and ratified. “The accord will be studied, and assessments will be conducted on the general security situation of the country. The decision will be based on the interests of the nation,” said Mr. Guterres on Friday (9/11) in the national parliament. At the meeting of the national parliament, the presence of United Nations Police (UNPol) was also discussed. (DN)
Alfredo Reinado: “Petitioners need to be active in the military” – Alfredo Reinado said that even though there is still no way to gather all the petitioners, the state and government already agreed to include the petitioners in the dialogue. Mr. Reinado also explains that the current government’s program is to solve the case of the petitioners, so they should be allowed to continue their daily activities as military men. “We will not let our military functions go,” said Gastao Salsinha, the spokesperson of the petitioners. (DN)
The government to support NP and review the presence of ISF – The current government led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão on Friday (9/11) shows its support to the national parliament through the evaluation to the ISF’s presence in the country. The decision to support the presence of ISF means the submission of a bilateral accord to the national parliament to be studied and ratified. (TP)
Man killed by arrow in East Timor gang fighting 13 Nov 2007 09:39:57 GMT Source: Reuters -DILI, Nov 13 (Reuters) – A man died after an arrow pierced his heart during gang fighting in districts near East Timor’s capital, a hospital official said on Tuesday.
The former Portuguese colony was plunged into chaos last year after the sacking of 600 rebellious soldiers triggered violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes. Foreign troops had to be brought in to restore order and security has improved, although sporadic violence, vandalism and arson persist, with an unemployment rate of around 50 percent helping fan a gang culture among bored youths.
“A man died during gang or martial arts fighting in Bebonuk and Fatuhada Dili, we could not help him because he got an arrow in his heart,” said Americo da Costa, an official at Dili hospital.
Gang fights often involve clashes between youths armed with machetes and poisonous steel darts.
Indonesia annexed East Timor in 1975 after long-time colonial power Portugal had set it free. East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia in a violence-marred referendum in 1999. It became fully independent in 2002 after a period of U.N. administration. (Reporting by Tito Belo, writing by Ed Davies, editing by John Chalmers)
Woman fails to take 23 kids from Timor Friday November 9, 06:27 PM AAP Authorities have stopped a woman from leaving East Timor with 23 children from an orphanage run by an Australian, after a UN agency raised serious concerns. Police descended on Dili airport on Thursday after the woman approached immigration officials seeking to have the children board a flight to Malaysia.
Authorities had been contacted by the international child rights agency UNICEF about the plan to take the children abroad. “UNICEF suspected the project’s intentions could be shady,” said Inspector Elias Mendonca, an immigration adviser to East Timor’s State Secretary for Security. “So a team of UN police was deployed, with UNICEF people.”
The woman who sought to take the children out of East Timor was questioned but has since been released. She has been identified as an Indonesian employee of the Eastern Petroleum company.
Authorities are continuing to scrutinise the documents she presented to immigration officers.
The children involved – ranging in age from 10 into their teens – were from the Hadomi Timor Orphans’ Foundation.
The orphanage director is Indonesian-born Australian Lala Noronha who was waiting in Malaysia for the children. A priest with the group said an agreement had been signed between the orphanage and a school in Malaysia.
Social Welfare Minister Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves said the children were stopped from leaving East Timor in compliance with laws on the rights of the child. “The East Timorese government has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child … and will ensure that the situation is resolved accordingly,” she said.
Authorities were carefully assessing documents associated with the trip, she said. An immigration official said the documents showed that not all the children were orphans. “Timorese law is very clear. Children under 17 cannot travel abroad without parental consent or without being properly accompanied,” the official said.
During the years of Indonesian occupation, East Timorese families had bitter experiences of children taken abroad for education with parental agreement. Some became estranged from their natural parents after being raised as Muslims. Others have remained with ‘adoptive’ families who deny access to their birth parents.
Attempts to gain comment from the orphanage were unsuccessful.
39 cops leave for East Timor peacekeeping Unb, Dhaka The Daily Star Thursday, November 8, 2007 01:23 AM GMT+06:00 – A 39-member contingent of Bangladesh police left for East Timor last night to join a UN peacekeeping mission there.
A flight of Dragon Airlines under the management of the United Nations took off from Zia International Airport at midnight carrying the peacekeepers, said a police headquarters release.
SP Ibrahim Fatemi is leading the contingent consisting of five SPs, two additional SPs, two ASPs, 13 inspectors, 10 sub-inspectors and seven sergeants.
Additional IGP (Admin) NBK Tripura saw the East Timor-bound team off after a briefing at the police headquarters.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 8 November 2007
Alfredo Reinado: asking people to be calm – Alfredo Reinado has asked people to remain calm and wait for the information and dialogue throughout the districts. “It is my moral responsibility going to go districts and inform people that they should wait for the process of dialogue,” said Mr. Reinado on Friday (2/11) in Same. (STL)
Issuing arrest warrant: the task of police – The Vice Director of Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP), Casmiro dos Santos said that according to the Penal Code of Timor-Leste only the police can capture members of the public, not the military. Mr. Dos Santos also said that the request of Judge Ivo of the Dili District Court to International Security Forces (ISF) to arrest Reinado needs clarification. “The mandate issued to ISF to arrest Reinado has no transparency; JSMP has no information about the bilateral accord between the government and ISF. Many people know that the bilateral accord has not been ratified by the national parliament,” said Mr. Dos Santos. (TP)
Jose Luis Guterres: audit to previous government to be clarified – The Vice Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres has endorsed the international audit of the previous government. According to Mr. Guterres, an audit is a normal procedure when requested by the president. ”The audit will clarify information about the truth, rather than just accusing others.” said Mr. Guterres on Wednesday (7/11) in Dili. (DN)
ISF rejects arrest warrant to Alfredo – The Spokesperson for the International Security Forces, Robert Barnes said that the Prosecutor General has sent an arrest warrant to the ISF, without the support of the Government. “Last week the General Prosecutor sent us an arrest warrant to capture Reinado, but the president of the republic asked ISF not to do so,” said the spokesperson. (DN)
Duarte Nunes: never questioning again the presence of ISF – Duarte Nunes, a member of the national parliament said that it is not the time to continually question the presence of the ISF, as Timor-Leste is still unable to provide security by itself. Mr. Nunes also said that sometimes unwanted incidents by ISF occur, because they are asked by UNPol and PNTL to give assistance. (DN)
TL to participate in the General Assembly of UN – A delegation consisting of eight Timorese people will take part in the UN General Assembly (GA) of 2007. The importance of taking participation in the debate in the GA is to provide assistance to other countries when needed; and also knowing the working mechanisms of the United Nations. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 6 November 2007
TVTL Summary News
Timor-Leste national parliament visits Indonesia: Members of the national parliament, led by the president of the national parliament, held a visit to Indonesia. The trip was to develop the relationship between the two nations that will be followed by an agreement between Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
National parliament to review the ISF presence: Parliamentary members from the CNRT, PD, Fretilin, ASDT, PSD, PN, UNDERTIM political parties have voiced their concern about the presence of ISF in Timor-Leste. The members said the Vice President of the national parliament will all invite parliamentary members from all political parties to hold a meeting to re-evaluate and review the agreement covering the presence of the ISF in Timor-Leste.
The Head of Timor-Leste meets the Head of UNMIT: The Special Representative of Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare held a weekly meeting with the government of Timor-Leste in discussing the recent situation of the country. SRSG Atul Khare said that the meeting was to discuss issues relevant to the Government and the United Nations.
National parliament decides to review the presence of ISF – The national parliament has decided to review the agreement for the presence of International Security Forces (ISF) in Timor-Leste. Members of the national parliament, belonging to the CNRT, PD, Fretilin, ASDT, PSD, PN, UNDERTIM parties made the decision based on concerns that the ISF is threatening Timor-Leste’s sovereignty. Concerned members said the ISF has been involved in torturing Timorese people, including shooting two young people to dead at the Comoro IDP camp in March 2007. “In the plenary session we are all concerned about the presence of the ISF and we would like to review the agreement before there are more victims. We will conduct a meeting to find out if there is any possibility to revise the accord as demanded,” said Vicente Guterres, the vice president of the national parliament. On the other hand, MP from Fretilin, Francisco Branco said that Fretilin is not against ISF, but it is important to know how the ISF cooperates with the F-FDTL and PNTL. The national parliament also referred to its appeal in October 2006, requesting the ISF to be under the United Nations. (TP, STL and TVTL)
Fretilin: not frightened by an international audit – The Head of Fretilin in the national parliament, Aniceto Guterres said that his party is not concerned about an international audit of its government between the years of 2002 and 2007. If the results show failings of the former members of the previous government we will accept them, but if there are no evidence then Fretilin asks to stop this campaign of accusations and dirty propaganda against Fretilin,” said Mr. Guterres on Monday (5/11) in the national parliament. On the other hand, MP from Social Democratic Party (PSD), Riak Leman said that the audit will also extend to the current Alliance government for the sake of transparency. (TP, DN and STL)
UN envoy and Prime Minister meet: strengthening situation of the country – The Special Representative of Secretary General of United Nations in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare held a meeting with Prime Minister Kayrala Xanana Gusmao in the government palace to inform the work of United Nations (UN) in Timor-Leste. “The meeting was well conducted and discussed how to strengthen the situation in Timor-Leste and what the United Nations can do to assist that,” said Atul Khare. The meeting is a weekly meeting between United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and the government of Timor-Leste. (TP,DN and TVTL)
Lucia Lobato accuses MPs of NP of manipulating the COI recommendations – The Justice Minister Lucia Lobato has accused former members of the national parliament of manipulating the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) in relation to the names of the actors, which are not given out by the national parliament. “Some names in the recommendation of COI were not mentioned in the final recommendation of the parliament,” said Ms. Lobato on Monday (5/11) in the national parliament. (TP and STL)
Judge Ivo asking ISF to apprehend Alfredo – Judge Ivo from the Dili District Court has asked the International Security Forces (ISF) to arrest Alfredo Reinado. “The capture of escapees with illegal weapons is within the jurisdiction of the ISF in Timor-Leste,” said Judge Ivo as cited by Lusa from a letter to John Hutcheson, the commander of ISF in Timor-Leste. Judge Ivo isasking ISF to apprehend Reinado and his group as they manifest frontally against the sovereignty of Timor-Leste. “The previous operation of ISF to arrest Reinado and his supporters has been halted based on the proposition of the Timorese leaders,” said John Hutcheson. (STL)
IDPs forcing NP to review the presence of ISF – The IDPs Airport Camp are forcing the national parliament to evaluate and review the presence of ISF in Timor-Leste as they become victims of ISF. “This is the second time we become victims; shot dead and injured. ISF are professional soldiers; they should not kill innocent,” said Carlito, the camp coordinator of IDP Comoro. The IDPs have asked the national parliament to review the presence of ISF and threat to and are requesting permission for a peaceful demonstration in Dili against government policy toward ISF. (STL)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 7 November 2007
Subsidy to public servants: Arsenio Bano, the Fretilin parliamentary member said that the rive subsidy from the Government to the public servants is a waste. According to Mr. Bano the subsidy should go to the public as public servants already have their monthly salaries.
Alfredo Reinado: leaders who involved in the crisis should face trial – Alfredo Reinado is calling upon the political leaders at the time of last year’s political and military crisis to be tried in a court of law. “The law is for all people. Leaders who were involved in the last year’s crisis should pay for their responsibility in the court,” said Reinado on Friday (2/11) in Same. Reinado explained that there should be further clarification about the political and military aspects of last year’s crisis.
PNTL-UNPol to provide patrols to schools – The Acting Commander of PNTL, Afonso de Jesus said that the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and United Nations Police (UNPol) has coordinated to provide patrols at schools under threat in the Dili suburb of Comoro. “The police observe that the security situation across the country remains normal and controlled. However, there still some sporadic incidents however the are not serious incidents,” said Mr. de Jesus. (TP)
IDPs threat to intimidate Australian citizens – The Fretilin Member of Parliament Arsenio Bano said intimidating Australian citizens is not a solution to problems. The IDPs at the Comoro Airport have threatened to intimidated Australian civilians as retribution for shooting deaths and injuries at the camp by the International Security Forces (ISF) “The parliament has to review and evaluate the trilateral agreement and stop the military operation in the refugees’ camps,” said Mr. Bano. (DN)
More police to deploy at the IDP camp of Airport – More PNTL and UNPol will deploy at the IDP of Comoro Airport, following the statement by IDPs to intimidate Australian citizens in the area. Mr. de Jesus said that PNTL and UNPol together with ISF and F-FDTL would react similarly to any other security issue. (DN)
UNPol, PNTL and government held a weekly meeting – The State Secretary for Security, Francisco Guterres, UN Police Commissioner Rodolfo Tor and DSRSG Eric Tan held a weekly meeting with the Acting Commander of PNTL, Afonso de Jesus on Tuesday (6/11) in Vila Verde, Dili. The meeting is conducted weekly to raise any important points of the week and to revise the incidents taking place around the country. PNTL and UNPol are agreeing to be pro-active to provide security in unsecured places. (DN)
Fugitive Reinado slams ‘corrupt’ international judges ABC Posted Sun Nov 4, 2007 11:46am AEDT – East Timor’s rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is demanding the removal of international judges before he hands himself over to police. Reinado has been on the run with a group of armed supporters since he escaped from Dili’s jail more than a year ago. He still faces a murder charge over his role in last year’s violent crisis. The rebel leader has told Radio National’s Background Briefing program he will not surrender while East Timor’s court system is corrupted by judges and lawyers from other countries. “Those countries come here, the Portuguese speaking countries, mostly Angola, Mozambique, Brazilian, and Portuguese,” he said. “All those poor Africans that until now they still kill each other, they have their dictator system. And you have Portugal, they think they are somebody, but they’re the poorest country in Europe.”