Human Rights Watch visited East Timor in May-June 2005 and interviewed over eighty individuals on the issue of police violence and growing impunity. Research interviews were conducted primarily in Baucau, Bobonaro and Dili districts. All interviews were conducted by a Human Rights Watch researcher directly in Indonesian or English.
Human Rights Watch interviewed more than thirty victims and witnesses to police violence. We also interviewed a range of domestic and international NGOs, United Nations (U.N.) agency and United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) representatives, including Special Representative to the Secretary-General (SRSG) Sukehiro Hasegawa, and staff from the UNMISET Human Rights Unit and Political Affairs Unit. UNMISET has since been stood down, but many of these staff now work for the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) and have continued to provide information and assistance to Human Rights Watch. U.N. police in East Timor extended much cooperation at both national and district levels; Human Rights Watch is especially grateful to the U.N. Police Senior Advisor Saif Ullah Malik for his time.
Human Rights Watch met with a range of East Timor government and police officials. We are grateful for the cooperation of East Timors Police Commissioner Paulo Martins and Vice Minister of Interior Alcino Barris for assistance extended during the course of our research. East Timors police force extended a high level of cooperation throughout the research trip, and allowed Human Rights Watch access to several police stations, detention facilities, and the national training academy.
Despite several written and telephone requests by Human Rights Watch, we regret having been unable to meet with more members of East Timors government, including with a representative from the Prime Ministers Office or the Ministry of Justice.
For the purposes of this report Human Rights Watch has only looked into the conduct of the regular police force in East Timor, and not the specialized units.
Except where noted, Human Rights Watch offers no conclusions as to the guilt or innocence of criminal charges of any victim of police abuse described in this report.