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Annual Report Timor-Leste

Amnesty International - May 24, 2012

  • Background
  • Impunity
  • Police and security forces
  • Violence against women and girls
  • Amnesty International Reports
  • Amnesty International Visits
  • Head of state: Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta
    Head of government: Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao
    Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
    Population: 1.2 million
    Life expectancy: 62.5 years
    Under-5 mortality: 56.4 per 1,000
    Adult literacy: 50.6 per cent

    Perpetrators of gross human rights violations committed during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor (1975-1999) remained at large. There were reports of human rights violations, including ill-treatment, by security forces. Levels of domestic violence remained high.


    In February, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste by another year. That same month, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances visited Timor-Leste. In October, the country's human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review. Several states noted that perpetrators of human rights violations had gone unpunished. Timor-Leste agreed to consider calls from five states to implement recommendations made by the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR).


    Impunity for human rights violations persisted despite ongoing investigations by the Serious Crimes Investigation Team. Victims, their families and Timorese NGOs continued to call for justice for human rights violations committed by Indonesian security forces between 1975 and 1999. Nevertheless, the government continued to promote reconciliation with Indonesia at the expense of justice. The majority of those accused of human rights violations were believed to be at large in Indonesia.

    A Memorandum of Understanding between the Provedor (Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice) and the Indonesian Human Rights Commission on the implementation of recommendations of the CAVR and the joint Indonesia-Timor-Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) lapsed in January and was renewed in November. No progress was reported (see Indonesia entry).

    A debate on two draft laws establishing a National Reparations Programme and an "Institute for Memory", mandated to implement recommendations of the CAVR and CTF, had yet to take place by the end of the year after parliament postponed it in February.

    Police and security forces

    In March, the UN handed full responsibility for police operations in the country to the Timor-Leste National Police Force. There were reports of human rights violations, including ill-treatment, committed by police and military officers.

    Violence against women and girls

    Domestic violence cases were prosecuted in the courts, as per the 2010 Law Against Domestic Violence. However, levels of such violence remained high, and some cases continued to be resolved through traditional justice mechanisms which restricted access to justice for victims.

    Country Reports

    Country Visits

    Amnesty International delegates visited Timor-Leste in February and November.

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