Thu, 19 July 2012
18 Mb. 18 minutes 40 seconds
(Tetum -English Translation below)
FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDENPENDENTE
Media Conference Held at Parliament House, Dili, 18.7.2012
Media conference to divulge the outcome of an investigation into potentially criminal conduct by PNTL Squad Members stationed at Hera who shot and killed FRETILIN militant, Armindo Pereira Soares on 16 – 07- 2012.
Through this press conference we want to share with the media and public at large that the FRETILIN Central Committee (CCF) when we heard that PNTL had shot and killed FRETILIN militant, Armindo Pereira Soares, in Hera the morning of 16-07-2012, CCF FRETILIN immediately established and sent out an investigative team composed of:
1. Deputy Domingos Maria Sarmento, President of the National Justice Commission
2. Jose Agostinho Sequieira, Somocho, Vice-President of the Ex-combatants and Veterans Association.
3. José Guterres, Lawyer,
in order to investigate the case of the PNTL Police in Hera shooting dead FRETILIN militant Armindo Prereira Soares in Hera- Sub-District, Metinaro.
It was felt necessary to immediately take statements from potential material witnesses to the incident, due to what appeared to FRETILIN as attempts to cover up the incident, and the history of a number of violent incidents against citizens, including homicides that have thus far gone unresolved.
The following is the chronology of facts and evidence that the internal FRETILIN investigation found:
1. On the morning of 16 July 2012 between 6 and 9 am, the situation in Aldeia Mota Kiik, the location of the incident, was normal and calm, without any disturbances or rock throwing, nor burning of tires on the public road. According to the information gathered by the FRETILIN investigation team, tires had been burnt, people screaming and throwing stones at each other on the night of the 15th of July 2012, but by 9 am on the morning of the 16th of July 2012, the situation was extremely calm, with students preparing and some on their way to school and everyone going about their daily chores.
2. As the situation in the area was calm, there were no disturbances or rock throwing along the Hera-Dili public road, Armindo Pereira Soares (the deceased) waited along the roadside for public transport (at a distance between 5-10 meters from his house) to come to Dili to attend his classes at University of Dili. According to information gathered, Armindo Pereira Soares, lives with his older brother Abel Ximenes in Becora, but on Saturday the 14th of July 2012, the deceased traveled to Hera to get some money from his Auntie, Sra Ana Senhorinha Alves, alias Bilesa, a veteran of the armed struggle, to pay for his university studies.
3. Whilst the deceased Armindo Pereira Soares and his friend Joanico Freitas were waiting for the microlet, the deceased, Armindo Pereira Soares, told Joanico he had forgotten the money his Aunt had given him on the dinning table. He turned to go and retrieve the money he had forgotten. At that moment traveling from the direction of Hera the Hera police post vehicle, on which were riding between 5-10 police officers, was heading towards them at very high speed. From far, before nearing the place where the deceased Armindo Pereira Soares and Joanico Freitas were standing waiting for the microlet, a police officer fired an a warning shot in the air and the vehicle stopped whilst the police officers descended from it. Meanwhile the deceased Armindo Pereira Soares was walking slowly (not running) to his Auntie’s house. When the deceased had returned to his Auntie’s house, 3 police officers, one named Agostinho Cardoso, another named Mario and a third police officer whose name is unknown, they pursued the deceased, Armindo Pereira Soares, who was already on the veranda of the house of the veteran and former combatant, Ana Senhorina Alves (Bilesa) where she, as the owner of the house sat on a chair near the door to the veranda.4. The three police officers, Agostinho Cardoso, Mario and their third colleague, entered the house without the permission of the owner and veteran Bilesa, immediately began to strike the head of the deceased Armindo Pereira Soares with their police batons whilst the deceased yelled repeatedly “I haven’t done anything wrong. I haven’t done anything wrong.” As a result of these violent strikes, the head of the deceased began to bleed profusely on the cement inside the house of the veteran, Builesa. After the three police officers had physically assaulted and wounding the deceased to the point of bleeding from his head, the three police officers dragged him out of the house and pushed him towards the roadside adjascent to the house. Whilst this was occurring, the veteran Bilesa and Sr. Joanico Meneses were standing on the veranda witnessing these brutal and inhuman acts of these police officers with their own eyes.
5. Once the 3 police officers had dragged and pushed the deceased to the roadside, a policeman named Agostinho Cardoso shot the deceased on his leg with his pistol. Ana Senhorina Alves, Builesa, and Joanico Meneses could see the police officer Agostinho Cardoso shoot the deceased’s leg from where they were standing on the veranda of their house, a short distance away.
6. Following the 3 police officers together with others, dragged and pushed the deceased into the back of the vehicle. Whilst they were dragging and pushing he deceased, Armindo, some police officers were pushing him from behind while others had grabbed him by his shoulders and lifted the deceased inside the vehicle. At that very moment a police officer by the name of Mario shot the deceased on his right abdomen with his pistol. This was also witnessed by Martinho da Silva who usually sells clothing on the roadside, near the place of the incident. Nearby another witness named Jacinto also witnessed the shooting of the deceased by the policeman Mario. Both witnesses made statements that they saw with their own eyes the policeman Mario shoot the right side of the abdomen of the deceased whilst they were lifting and throwing the deceased inside the vehicle. This physical aggression, beating with batons, shooting the deceased’s leg and abdomen, resulted in the deceased Armindo Pereira Soares, dying on the way to the hospital inside the Hera police post vehicle.
7. As such the actions of these police officers must be the subject of a criminal investigation and if found guilty of a crime the police officers concerned should be dismissed from the PNTL.
8. According to the observation of the internal FRETILIN investigation team, the PNTL showed a lack of professionalism and a lack of impartiality in performing their duty in this instance and only showed acts of cruelty and inhumanity in randomly beating and fatally shooting an innocent person.
9. The statements and report will be forwarded to the prosecutor general's office and the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice promptly urging an urgent investigation.