Horta v Angelita, AusGovt inaction, and Macho v
Horta v Angelita, AusGovt inaction, and Macho v Women’s silence
rob wesley-smith, afffet darwin, Sunday 20th July 08
The situation for Australian East Timorese Angelita Pires in Dili has
become even more urgent.
After 5 months of investigations in East Timor and in Darwin there is
no evidence available in any way shape or form to implicate her in
any plot to shoot the President of East Timor Jose Ramos Horta. Yet
she is apparently facing charges of conspiring to harm a ‘protected
person’ with the most severe consequences to her liberty and life.
Though not in custody or even house arrest, her financial and
security situation in Dili is dire.
So why is it that she appears to be the only person really targetted
in the investigations? The East Timor government is even preparing
to send two major persons of interest Railos and Salsinha overaseas
with their families on spurious grounds. What does that say to even
the most hardened myopic sceptic? Remember that this week the AFP
raided the home in Darwin of her friend who was in the car on the
last drive up to see Alfredo Reinado on Feb 10th. I’m sure they
could have simply asked her, rather than a raid of 6 or 7 AFP
officers. They chose the day after her parents had left the house to
achive maximum intimidation, a tactic being used also in East Timor.
I have highlighted before that it was not that car or its contents
that should be looked at, it was the MUNJ cars that were there and
came after, and were used to bring Alfredo to Dili on 11th Feb. MUNJ
operates from Horta’s office. So is this vicious victimisation of
Angelita and her friends to take presure off where the investigation
should be located, and that is the leaders Horta and probably Xanana?
How much is the pressure on the beautiful Australian East Timorese
just due to the macho society picking on the only colleague of
Alfredo who is a woman, and was his lover as well. How much of the
vitriol that has dripped from Horta’s defamations was due to a
feeling he was spurned? Or similarly from the Prosecutor General?
Or the illinformed prejudice I have heard from various women who
should know better. I have almost only heard rational support from
Why is it that these issues have not attracted the attention of human
rights and women’s groups in East Timor and Australia? I remind such
people that it is not a question of whether they personally like
Angelita, it is a question of legal and moral fairness and justice.
It is past time to hear women’s voices raised to support her, as this
macho treatment diminishes the role and rights of all women in East
Timor in my humble opinion. It is also true that being too
intimidated to speak up only encourages that macho intimidation in
Look at the TFC report and its reception last week. If crimes
against humanity are allowed to be ‘forgiven’, to have ‘impunity’,
for perpetrators to be allowed to continue their careers, even
promoted as many Indonesian military have to positions against the
oppressed West Papuan population, then where is the real force for
change or indeed any justice for victims?
It seems the erstwhile UN Human Rights Commissioner self-declared
candidate President Jose Ramos Horta is into forgiving all and
thowing open the gaol doors for all, except Angelita. Why? Is he
promoting this policy to the Pope in Sydney today? Does he thank God
for stopping the bullet fragments, but hey God, the bullets could
have missed altogether! Is he after the Pope’s job? He assures us
he is 100% mentally fit, but he has had to declare this to rebut
criticism of his erratic performance after going back to work after 2
months when the Darwin hospital said it would take 6 months for him
to be fully fit. Unlike the Pope, he has not apologised for his
vicious defamations and outright lies (eg re Bank accounts with a
million $$) and I call upon him to do so, in the spirit of
forgiveness and justice, as befits a Nobel Peace laureate.
The Australian government has been asked to activate its fund as
available to help Australians overseas in trouble, as granted for the
Bali nine convicted criminals. It seesm tyey have even speculated on
her citizenship when she is Australian but also has an East Timor
passport as is her right being born there from parents also born
there. The Attorney General’s Dept sat on her request from May until
last week now requiring other financial informatiom, when her lawyer
is about to be recalled to Brazil, as Australia so far has failed to
failed to offer appropriate and sympathetic consideration about these
unique circumstances, and ask the Brazilan government for whom she
works to allow her to stay on to assist Angelita in this complex and
insidious case. This lawyer is critical to her legal welfare, yet
the AusGov iterates it has no role in choosing lawyers – how
pathetic! We call on the Australian government to make this request
and provide financial assistance early this week. Perhaps even
President Horta would support this request.
australians for as free and fair east timor
61 8 89832113 0419 807175 firstname.lastname@example.org