BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home   July news

“This case will set a precedent for future cases of domestic violence and for any cases that involve a high-level official, ... Our legal system must treat all people equally.” Filomena Reis, Advocacy Officer, East Timor NGO Forum
“Many East Timorese still believe that domestic violence is a private issue and is therefore not fit for a public courtroom, ... A crime is a crime, whether committed on the street or in one’s home.” Laura Abrantes, East Timor Women’s Network
See also:
Jun 17 Guterez: Is access to justice still dependent on position in ETimor?
BD: East Timorese Women's Issues - A collection of recent information, petitions, articles and news
Bahasa Indonesia: Jul 12 NGO Forum / Rede Feto: Tokoh Masyarakat Ditahan Lagi Untuk Kekerasan Rumah Tangga 

The following press release (below in English and Indonesian) came out this morning from the NGO Forum and Rede Feto (the Women's Network). This afternoon, there was a preliminary hearing on the case at which the Investigative Judge decided that Dr. Lobo will remain in detention until his trial for the protection of his wife, the victim in the case, and because there is a risk that he will leave the country. The judge also refused repeated requests from Dr. Lobo and his lawyers to hear directly from their four children (ranging from age 7 to 14) who were present in the courtroom. The children have been in the care of Dr. Lobo and his family since February. There were many people present at the public hearing, including press and local and international monitors.

La'o Hamutuk


Press Release

12 July 2001

Public Figure Detained Again for Domestic Violence

On 10 July 2001, Dr. Sergio Lobo, former Chairman of the Department of Health for ETTA (East Timor Transitional Authority), was detained in Dili for physically assaulting his wife. This detention follows a detention in February 2001 on the same charges. The court is expected to set a trial date for the criminal case against Dr. Lobo sometime in July.
 
The NGO Forum, the East Timor Women’s Network and the newly formed Judicial System Monitoring Program will be monitoring the case closely. These groups are concerned that the justice system should treat all cases of domestic violence equally seriously and should not demonstrate preferential treatment to accused persons in positions of power.

“This case will set a precedent for future cases of domestic violence and for any cases that involve a high-level official,” said Filomena Reis, Advocacy Officer for the East Timor NGO Forum. “Our legal system must treat all people equally.”

Civil society groups were stunned when Dr. Lobo was given unconditional release by the court after his arrest in February. Even independent legal observers find the failure of detention of the accused surprising. “The case is an important test of the new judicial system of East Timor,” said Christian Ranheim, a Norwegian lawyer from the Judicial System Monitoring Program. “We are at the moment looking at pre-trial conditions, including the release of the accused. Although the Investigating Judge has exclusive right to decide on the use of detention, it seems clear to us that the rights of the victim have been violated in this case.”

Civil society groups and the Women’s Network stress that the issue of domestic violence must be recognized by all as a serious social problem in East Timor.

There has been a substancial increase in the number of reports of domestic violence in East Timor since the referendum on independence in 1999. Prosecution of cases, however, has been very slow. “Many East Timorese still believe that domestic violence is a private issue and is therefore not fit for a public courtroom,” said Laura Abrantes from the East Timor Women’s Network. “A crime is a crime, whether committed on the street or in one’s home.”

In February 2001, Dr. Sergio Lobo was accused of beating his wife with a stick and injecting a sedative into her arm with a syringe he had brought for this purpose. On 9 July 2001, Dr. Lobo was accused of assaulting his wife again at the Hotel Audian. The victim in the case describes a history of severe physical and emotional violence that spans her 15 years of marriage to Dr. Lobo.

Contact Persons:

* Filomena Reis, East Timor NGO Forum (0407-015-968)

* Laura Abrantes, Rede Feto/East Timor Women’s Network (0418-840-127)

 


La'o Hamutuk
The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis
Instituto Timor Lorosa'e ba Analiza no Monitor Reconstrusaun
PO Box 340, Dili, East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)
Mobile 61-408-811373 ; Land phone 670-390-325-013
Email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org
Web: http://www.etan.org/lh
To receive our bulletins electronically, please send a blank email to:
laohamutukbulletindistribution-subscribe@topica.com


East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e  Updated June 15
Umbrella agency for East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)
VISION: To contribute to the building of a pluralist, democratic, just and sustainable East Timor through the development of a strong, independent and responsible civil society committed to upholding and making real in the daily life of the community, both village and urban, the full range of human rights so that all East Timorese, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, can enjoy the fruits of liberation and development in an East Timor forever free.
MISSION: To realise its vision by promoting a culture of learning, cooperation, partnership with the community and respect for human rights and good practice amongst East Timorese NGOs and between them and other development actors, both domestic and international, and by serving as a collective, independent voice for the rights and needs of the community.
VALUES AND PRINCIPLES: a rights approach to development; inclusiveness, participation; accountability; gender balance; respect for the environment; non-party political; non-sectarian; good governance; volunteerism.
Kaikoli Street, Dili-East Timor  Telephone +670(390)322772
E-mail: etngocentre@hotmail.com  Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/etngoforum/index.html
See: BD: East Timor National NGO Forum / Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e - A collection of recent media releases, position-statements, speeches, petitions, reports, and news
 

REDE: Feto Timor Lorosae Timorese Women's Network   Updated June 15

  • REDE: Feto Timor Lorosae was established in March 2000 and currently encompasses more than 15 women’s organisations. These organisations are representative in themselves of a broad cross section of society as there are mass based organisations with national membership -  down to the village level, cultural, income generating/small business and rights based organisations and organisations affiliated with political parties.
  • REDE and each of the network’s members have been accompanying the political developments in our country [ETimor]. REDE advocates on a rights based approach to development, justice, social inclusiveness and gender equity and equality. REDE is also participating in and contributing to the reconstruction as well as working directly with Timorese women through amongst others, literacy and income generating and poverty alleviation projects to help them break away from the debilitating ties of illiteracy and poverty.
  • Although there have been achievements, progress is slow. Women’s lives in East Timor, as with the rest of the population continues to be arduous. For women this is more so because of the situation of women in Timorese society, cultural perceptions of women, the absence of clear laws which protect women and women’s limited participation in decision making.

  • Filomena Reis for REDE
    Dec 5-6 2000 REDE: Women's Network statement to Brussels donor conference: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/DecWomen.htm
    Dec 13 2001 REDE: Women's Issues in East Timor (Canberra donor conference): http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01junwomen.htm
    See : BD: East Timorese Women's Issues - A collection of recent information, petitions, articles and news
     

    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:

    Bahasa Indonesia:
    Jul 12 NGO Forum / Rede Feto: Tokoh Masyarakat Ditahan Lagi Untuk Kekerasan Rumah Tangga  Pernyataan Pers (added Juli 13)
    "Kasus ini akan dijadikan preseden untuk kasus-kasus kekerasan rumah tangga berikutnya dan untuk semua kasus yang melibatkan pejabat masyarakat tinggi ... Sistem pengadilan kita harus memperlakukan semua orang dengan cara sama.” Filomena Reis, Staf Advokasi di NGO Forum Timor Lorosa’e

    “Banyak orang Timor percaya bahwa kekerasan rumah tangga adalah masalah pribadi dan tidak patut disidangkan di hadapan umum, ... Kejahatan adalah kejahatan, baik dilakukan di jalan atau di rumah." Laura Abrantes dari Jaringan Perempuan Timor Lorosa’e


    Jun 17 Guterez: Is access to justice still dependent on position in ETimor?  Article and letter added June 22
    "This [domestic violence] case seems to be taking a long time to get to court and ... I feel justice may not be done. With domestic violence being common here and Dr Sergio being a well-known figure the case could be a big move to make it clear that domestic violence is not expectable and illegal. Perhaps it is time for the international community to voice their concern." Jane Guterez

    BD: East Timorese Women's Issues - A collection of recent information, petitions, articles and news


    BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home   July news
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