BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    July news

"We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision of the High Panel of Judges in District Dili Court to overturn the temporary detention of the accused Dr. Sergio Lobo. The reasoning for the judgement presented by the judges as well as by the defense for the release of Sergio Lobo does not point to concern for justice for the victim, GG. Ernawati." The Court Monitoring Team: Fokupers (the East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum) ; Legal Aid Team of Ukun Rasik An
See also:

BD: East Timorese Women's Issues - A collection of recent information, petitions, articles and news  [section on Domestic Violence]
BD: Calls for International War Crimes Tribunal - A collection of recent reports, articles and news  [section on East Timor's Judicial System]

Yesterday, 25 July, Fokupers (the East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum) and the Legal Aid Team of Ukun Rasik An issued the following statement regarding the conditional release of Dr. Sergio Lobo.

This is the second time Dr. Lobo has been released by the court. The first release in February was unconditional. On 8 July, Dr. Lobo was accused of again assaulting his wife and also damaging property in the Hotel Audian. On 12 July, the Investigative Judge for Dili District Court ruled that Dr. Lobo would remain in detention until his trial. The ruling cited the need to protect his wife and the risk that Dr. Lobo would leave the country.

Yesterday’s decision by a panel of three judges overturns the decision of the Investigative Judge and gives Dr. Lobo conditional release (he is required to check in with the court once a week, only leave home to go to the hospital to work, and should not go near the victim).

The reasons given by the judges for the release were that the doctor’s talents are needed by the community, that the children need their father, and culture, explaining that a wife should inform her husband of all of her actions—referring to the fact that the victim in the case did not inform her husband that she would start working in a hotel.

La’o Hamutuk


Statement of Concern Regarding the Appeal Hearing

Dr. Sergio Lobo (accused) and GG Ernawati (victim)

By the Court Monitoring Team


25 July 2001

We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision of the High Panel of Judges in District Dili Court to overturn the temporary detention of the accused Dr. Sergio Lobo. The reasoning for the judgement presented by the judges as well as by the defense for the release of Sergio Lobo does not point to concern for justice for the victim, GG. Ernawati.

Below are some statements and judgements expressed that we deplore.

1. The judges in their decision and the defense for the accused stated that his patients and the public need Dr. Sergio Lobo’s services. It should be proven that the need cited is truly urgent. Dr. Sergio Lobo has assaulted his wife several times since November 2000 which shows both a violation of the law and of his professional code of ethics. We can not accept the need for Dr. Lobo’s skills as a doctor to justify his release as he has repeatedly taken actions to threaten Ernawati. The judges should have kept to the principle of equality before the law and not allowed irrelevent and opportunistic issues to influence the case. In fact, without the presence of Dr. Sergio Lobo, the hospital continues to function 24 hours a day in service of the community. This case is a test of the principal of equality before the law, without viewing one’s function, profession or social economic status.

2. The reason given that the children need the presence of Dr. Sergio Lobo, who has acted as both their father and mother, has no basis. The reason that Ernawati has not been able to tend to her children is because Dr. Lobo threatens her personal safety. Because of this fear, she is unable to be with her children. The judges should have seen this fact. In the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, paragraph 16 speaks to the issue of marriage and family law and states, “Equal rights and responsibilities in all matters relating to marriage and family relations form a basis of equality between men and women.” Therefore, if Sergio Lobo, as one parent, has cared for the children during this process, this should not be raised as a problem.

3. The statement that the culture of East Timor does not allow a wife to do something without permission from her husband can not be a basis of the decision. It is not proper for the Judges and defense lawyers, as representatives of the law, to use cultural standards which are discriminatory as a means of defense and judgement.  It must be taken into consideration that all laws in East Timor must agree with international standards and the reason of culture is in contradiction with international standards. The culture of East Timor confronts and rejects violence; it does not support it.

4. The judges based their decision on the importance of Dr. Sergio Lobo without weighing the importance or safety of Ernawati. In the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, paragraph 7 refers to the right to freedom from assault and paragraph 9 states that every person has a right to personal freedom and safety. The judges should have looked at the facts that show that Ernawati’s safety is threatened.

5. In the process of the hearing, the judges, prosecution and defense for the accused were unprofessional in their handling of this case. This is evidenced by the fact that irrelevent statements with no basis at all were allowed in the court hearing, including accusations of prostitution and having AIDS.

6. The judges asked gender biased questions. Because the victim is a woman, she was asked whether she had gotten permission from her husband to work. This question lacks basis, particularly when the judges know that the victim is threatened and could not possibly make contact with the accused.

7. The decision of the High Judges Panel in District Dili Court to conditionally release the accused Dr. Sergio Lobo points to a discriminatory legal process in this country. With the consideration of the rights of children to be cared for by their parents as a basis for the decision of the court, questions arise about all of those accused of criminal offences who have children but are still held in detention.

Based on the above, we insist that:

1. In the process of the upcoming trial for this case, the needs of the woman as a victim are given attention and that the victim is fully heard.

2. The court will not become a place where a victim faces further violence, such as unsubstantiated slander that is not relevant to the case.

3. The court must ensure that Dr. Sergio Lobo will truly follow the conditions of his release, namely that he does not leave his house except to go to the hospital and that he not go near Ernawati, the victim. The court is now responsible for the safety of the victim and must ensure that another assault does not occur against her.

Dili, 25 Juli 2001

Monitoring Team for the Case of Dr Sergio Lobo-G.G. Ernawati

Advokacy Division of Fokupers
GG. Ernawati’s Legal Team, Legal Aid Ukun Rasik’An
 


Bahasa Indonesia:
Fokupers - Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae  Added Mar 1
Maksud Umum: Fokupers didirikan pada tahun 1997. Organisasi ini membantu korban politik dan juga memberikan nasihat atau ‘counselling’ dan lain lain kepada perempuan yang menderita sebagai bekas tapol, atau yang menjadikan janda karena perang, atau isteri tapol. Selain dari itu, Fokupers mendorong hak asasi manusia, pada khususnya untuk perempuan, dalam masyarakat setempat.
Kegiatan Sekarang: Sudah mengadakan bengkel untuk mendiskusi bagaimana perempuan akan diikuti atau menjadi lebih aktip di masyarakat Timor Loro Sa’e. · Pada saat ini, kami memusatkan perhatian atas latihan ‘trauma counselling’ untuk pekerja Fokupers.

English:
Fokupers - Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae  Added Mar 1
Women's Development and Advocacy
Fokupers is a registered East Timorese non-government organization (ETNGO)
General Mission: Fokupers was founded in 1997. It focuses on political victims and gives counselling and other forms of assistance to women victims of violations, including ex political prisoners, war widows and wives of political prisoners. Its mandate also includes promoting women’s human rights among the local population, especially the East Timorese women.
Current Activities: Conducting workshops discussing ways to enhance or develop further women’s participation in Timorese society. · Focusing on receiving trauma counselling training for their staff in order to provide counsel to women victims.


Tetum: (the most common East Timorese language)
La’o Hamutuk, Instituto Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitoring Reconstrucao  Updated June 27
Saida mak La’o Hamutuk? La’o Hamutuk organizasaun klibur Ema Timor Lorosa’e no Ema Internacional ne’ebe buka atu tau matan, halo analize ho halo relatorio kona ba hahalok (actividade) instuisaun internacional ne’ebe oras ne’e haknaar iha Timor Lorosa’e, liu-liu hahalok sira ne’ebe iha relasaun ho rekonstrusaun fizika no social Timor Lorosa’e nian. La’o Hamutuk fiar katak Povo Timor Lorosa’e mak tenke hakotu iha procesu rekonstrusaun ne’e nia laran no procesu rekonstrusaun ne’e tenke demokratiku no transparante duni.
Staf Timor oan: Inès Martins, Fernando da Silva, Thomas Freitas; Staf Internasional: Pamela Sexton, Mark Salzer; Kuadru Ejekutivu: Sr. Maria Dias, Joseph Nevins, Fr. Jovito Rego de Jesus Araùjo, Aderito Soares Durubasa: Benjamin Sanches Afonso, Tomé Xavier Jeronimo, Maria Bernardino, Manuel Tilman, Djoni Ferdiwijaya Ilustrador: Sebastião Pedro da Silva, Nan Porter Design Jeronimo Staf Monitoriu Projektu Judiciariu JSMP: Christian Ranheim, Caitlin Reiger, Rayner Thwaites
Local Contact:  P.O. Box 340, Dili, East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)  Mobile fone: +61(408)811373;  Telefone Uma: +670(390)325-013
International contact: +1-510-643-4507 Email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org  Homepage: http://www.etan.org/lh
Boletim La’o Hamutuk: [Tetum PDF format]
Vol. 2, Nos. 1-2 Abríl 2001 Vizaun Jeral Hosi Fundu Ba Rekonstrusaun Timor Loro Sa’e: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/lhbl2n1t.pdf
Vol. 1, No. 4, 31 Dejembru 2000 Banku Mundial iha Timor Loro Sa’e: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/lhbul4tm.pdf
Vol. 1, No. 3, 17 Novembro 2000 Hari Sistema Saude Nasional iha Timor Lorosa’e:  http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/LHbul3tm.pdf
Vol. 1, No. 2, 17 Julho 2000 Protesaun ba meio ambiente iha TL: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/bulletin02tetum.pdf
Vol. 1, No. 1, 21 Juñu 2000 Rekonciliasaun: http://www.etan.org/lh/PDFs/bulletin01tetum.pdf

English:
La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis  Updated June 24
La'o Hamutuk (Tetum for Walking Together) is a joint East Timorese-international organization that seeks to monitor, to analyze, and to report on the reconstruction activities of the principal international institutions. It believes that the people of East Timor must be the ultimate decisionmakers in the reconstruction process and that the process should be as democratic and transparent as possible ...
East Timorese staff: Inès Martins, Fernando da Silva, Thomas Freitas; International staff: Pamela Sexton, Mark Salzer Executive board: Sr. Maria Dias, Joseph Nevins, Fr. Jovito Rego de Jesus Araùjo, Aderito de Jesus Soares Translators: Maria Bernardino, Tom‚ Xavier Jeronimo JSMP staff: Christian Ranheim, Caitlin Reiger, Rayner Thwaites
International contact: +1-510-643-4507  Email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org  Homepage: http://www.etan.org/lh
La’o Hamutuk Bulletin: http://www.etan.org/lh/bulletin.html
Mar 23 2001 LH: Job announcement for La'o Hamutuk in East Timor: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01marjob.htm
Activity Report: Mar 16 2001 LH: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01marlhreport.html


See also:

BD: East Timorese Women's Issues - A collection of recent information, petitions, articles and news  [section on Domestic Violence]

BD: Calls for International War Crimes Tribunal - A collection of recent reports, articles and news [section on East Timor's Judicial System]


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    July news
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