Timor-Leste: Police launched investigation and internal inquiry on the death of a youth

News and Press Release
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Dili, 30 December 2009- Acting Police Commissioner Idris Ibrahim today held a joint press conference with the Acting General Commander of Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL), Afonso de Jesus, to provide an update on the police response to a situation of disorder that took place on late evening of 28 December 2009 in Delta Novo in the Comoro area of Dili.

The PNTL and the United Nations Police (UNPol) had attended the scene and called for back-up support. A detachment of a PNTL Patrol and Taskforce members responded and subsequently two persons were hit by gunshot allegedly fired by a member of the PNTL, with one person dying and one injured.

The Acting Police Commissioner and Acting PNTL General Commander said that the incident was highly regrettable, and offered their condolences to the families and friends of the victims. They confirmed that UN Police and PNTL have initiated a criminal investigation into the case as well as a joint internal inquiry , and called on citizens to continue to be law-abiding and encouraged peaceful conduct.

Acting Police Commissioner Idris assured the community that the police were taking all necessary action, while reminding all concerned that any excessive use of force by police is prohibited by Timorese and international law, and will not be tolerated.

UNMIT calls on all members of the community to remain calm, as police complete the proper investigations and appropriate actions are taken.

The UNMIT Human Rights and Transitional Justice Unit is conducting a separate human rights investigation into the matter.