East Timor UNPOL News

National News
· Police hand over investigation findings on the shooting of a young man
· State secretary for defense calls for serious investigation into F-FDTL officer assault
· F-FDTL authorizes security institution to investigate assault of F-FDTL officer
· Who is in charge of security in Dili, PNTL or UNPOL?

Police hand over investigation findings on the shooting of a young man – Radio Timor-Leste
Police have handed over findings of an investigation into the shooting death of a young man by a Timorese police officer in Delta Nova on December 29, 2009, according to Deputy Police Commander, Afonso de Jesus.

The commander said the police officer who was believed to have been engaged in the shooting had been suspended from his post and is facing further legal charges.

“We have submitted findings of the investigation to the Public Prosecution for further legal charges,” De Jesus said.

He added that the suspension from his police officer position was an administrative action while waiting for legal processing of the crime he committed.

State secretary for defense calls for serious investigation into F-FDTL officer assault – Radio Timor-Leste
State Secretary for Defense, Julio Thomas Pinto has called for the State Secretariat for security to launch a serious investigation into the assault of a Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) officer, as it is an important case.

“This case is a crime and this F-FDTL officer was on duty at Becora Prison. He came to the F-FDTL post at Becora Prison on December 31 to perform his duty,” Pinto said.

Pinto said the State Secretary for Security had asked the Dili station police to launch an investigation into the case.

F-FDTL authorizes PNTL to investigate assault of F-FDTL officer – Radio Timor-Leste
State Secretary for Defense, Julio Thomas Pinto said the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) has given full authorization the Timorese National Police (PNTL) to launch an investigation into the assault of F-FDTL officer, Antonio Soares.

Pinto stressed that the F-FDTL has given the PNTL an opportunity to resolve this case and said the PNTL should have a balanced approach to assess the scene where the incident took place.

Pinto added that the F-FDTL would continue to ask the victims’ family to be patient while awaiting results of the police investigation.

Who is in charge of security in Dili, PNTL or UNPOL? – Diário Nacional, 4/01/2010
We, the people of Timor, were not expecting the security situation in the capital Dili, which had remained quiet and under control throughout 2009, to deteriorate again at the end of the year as the countdown began for 2010 began, with renewed violence and uncontrolled security.

We are angry indeed, because the National Police of Timor-Leste, i.e. Timorese police officers, shot and killed a young Timorese. An investigation is currently under way to find out why shots were fired, but the incident has brought discredit upon the police force and it makes us wonder whether PNTL has the capability to do its job and whether it wouldn’t be preferable to have the United Nations police providing security for us.

The Timorese people could see what happened on the last day of 2009 and on 1 January 2010. The National Police of Timor-Leste, Timorese police officers, our own brothers and sisters that we have trained to provide security for our nation have no authority, and we don’t know who is in charge, who has taken over again the authority to provide security, whether UNPOL or someone else? We don’t know.

On the eve of 2010, with a Timorese police force that does not have the authority to provide security, we saw once again people killing one another, groups of youngsters from different neighborhoods attacking one another, some getting killed, some getting injured, and property being damaged. And there was no intervention to secure the situation, neither from the National Police of Timor-Leste nor from UNPOL.

The neighborhoods and sucos where violence erupted were the sucos of Santa Cruz, Bidau Santana, Becora (Kulau), Comoro and Taibessi. In these sucos, members of the communities started beating one another, throwing stones at one another, injuring one another until some got killed and property was destroyed.

“They sat next to the Nativity scenes [presépio] and drank wine until they were drunk, and they insulted one another until incidents happened” told a youngster from suco Santa Cruz who asked to remain anonymous. “The incidents began at 2.15 am on 1 January 2010”.

When the incidents began, members of the community called PNTL but PNTL replied that they didn’t have the authority to intervene in security matters to calm down the situation.

“When they began insulting one other, attacking one another, we called PNTL but they didn’t want to come because, they claimed, they didn’t have the authority. They said UNPOL had the authority to act, not them”, explained the youngster, recalling the reply they got from the police.

As for UNPOL, they did indeed turn up at the scene of the incidents after youngsters had thrown rocks at one another, but they remained inside their vehicle, they didn’t come out to deal with the situation.

“UNPOL came and left very quickly”, the youngster said.

He explained that when PNTL had authority, people would call PNTL’s emergency number 112, and within a few minutes they would arrive on the scene of the incident to deal with the situation. But now that authority has been taken from PNTL, people will kill one another and there is no police force that will come to the scene. We call 112 and we get the reply ‘we don’t have the authority’, the authority to provide security lies with UNPOL”.

Replies such as these are raising doubts in the minds of people. Is there something that isn’t quite right within UNPOL? Why is it that UNPOL doesn’t want to intervene and allows people to throw rocks at one another, kill one another? Are there any intentions behind this? If UNPOL has the authority why doesn’t it act? UNPOL is a professional force, why doesn’t it stop the violence?

There was also trouble in Bidau Santana. According to information provided by the community, two youngsters from Bidau Toko Baru went to a party in the Mesquita neighborhood, which is part of Bidau Santana, and caused some trouble. The community in Bidau Santana reacted and attacked the youngsters from Bidau Toko Baru and this led to some rock throwing.

“We don’t know what the problem was. Suddenly youngsters from the Mesquita neighborhood came and attacked the youngsters from Bidau Toko Baru, throwing rocks against homes at random and causing people to flee”, said Lourença, a housewife whose house was targeted by the attackers.

“We called PNTL but they didn’t come, they said they didn’t have the authority. If that is the case, who is responsible for providing security?” asked Lourença, aged 45. A member of the police known as Joaquim, added that the PNTL cannot intervene in cases involving violence because it doesn’t have the authority to do so now, as everything is in the hands of UNPOL.

“Some of our colleagues cried when they heard that people were calling our station asking for assistance in emergencies but the General Command did not give them permission to intervene because it didn’t have the authorization to do so”, explained the member of the police force.

If incidents occur in the neighborhoods and the police do not intervene, we have to ask the State of Timor-Leste, starting with the President of the Republic, National Parliament, Government, whether Timor-Leste is a sovereign nation or not? To what extent do you have the power to decide, you have lost the power to decide. If one member of the police misbehaves, this doesn’t mean that the whole police force has misbehaved, but because of what happened, PNTL has suspended its activities and is not providing security to the nation.

If we look at the case of the youngster who was shot dead in Delta Nova, it bears resemblance to the situation on 4 September 2004, when PNTL shot a youngster in the 4 de Dezembro Junior High School, previously known as Escola Cinha. The members of PNTL were powerless, the people took over power and destroyed property, set fire to shops at random, and the security situation got out of control. J-L


Diário Nacional do Timor Leste, edição de 4/01/2010
Published in: on janeiro 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm  Deixe um comentário  

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