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Timor Leste: Provedor submits monitoring report on Joint Operation Commando

Graphic: Timor Leste Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice

The activities of Joint Operation Commando (PNTL and F-FDTL) have been the subject of a monitoring report by the Timor Leste Office of the Provedor.


Timor Leste's national human rights institution, the Provedoria dos Direitos Humanos e Justiça (PDHJ) has submitted its report on the results of a monitoring activity regarding the Parliamentary Resolution No. 4/2014 and the Government Resolution No. 13/2014.

These resolutions permitted the establishment of Joint Operation Commando (PNTL and F-FDTL) to combat the actions of the groups, CPD-RDTL and the Concelho de Revolução Maubere (KRM) between March and June 2014.

Dr. Sebastião Dias Ximenes, the Provedor, said that the State declared its intention to undertake operations against these groups because they were taking on military characteristics and creating disturbances and insecurity for Timorese People living in certain areas.

Dr. Ximenes said that by establishing the Joint Operations Commando, the State intended to stop the groups' activities and movements in order to provide a peaceful environment for the people of Timor-Leste to undertake their daily activities.

The PDHJ's monitoring team undertook its monitoring activities, during the joint operations by the PNTL and F-FDTL, to determine whether the operations conducted by the State were done in accordance with the law and also to determine whether the State's activities has resulted in violations against the rights of Timorese people.

The Provedor also stated that according to the PDHJ monitoring results, the pursuits, searches and road-blocks conducted by PNTL members in various communities and within community members own homes during the joint operations were probably not in compliance with the Penal Code and Penal Procedures Code.

The Provedor noted that pursuits and searches must be carried out in accordance with the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (CRDTL) as well as the Penal Procedures Code. The PNTL's behavior and attitude caused cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of several community members during search operations.

The Provedor also mentioned that the police must also respect legally defined time limits when detaining people, and asked whether people who had been detained during the joint operation had access to lawyers or legal assistance or not.

For these reasons, the PDHJ's Monitoring Team carried out monitoring on the attitude of the PNTL and the F-FDTL members to determine whether it was in accordance with the law.

During the joint operation the PDHJ also received serious complaints from individuals who were victims of human rights violations committed by some members of the PNTL.

The Provedor stated that the PDHJ's final monitoring report on this issue has been submitted to the President of the National Parliament as well as to the relevant State organs. The report included facts uncovered, legal analysis and recommendations to the competent organs on how to remedy the wrongs that were committed by the joint forces during the operations.

Date: 3 September 2014

Source: Provedoria dos Direitos Humanos e Justiça

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  1. Timor Leste Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice - Timor Leste Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice