Call made for ‘urgent international support’ for East Timorese journalists

Lourenco Martina Vicente (left) and Oki Raimundos (right). Raimundos is the former editor of the Timor Post, he resigned from his position during the prosecution process. Image: IFJ

An online petition to drop the defamation case against two East Timorese journalist’s is calling for urgent international support, stating that the prosecution of the journalists is an attack on press freedom and right to information.

Former Timor Post journalists, Oki Raimundos and Lourenco Martina Vicente are being charged with “slanderous denunciation” by the Timor Leste government and face up to three years’ imprisonment.

The petition is campaigned with the combined support of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House and the International Federation of Journalists.

“We are urgently calling on Timor Leste’s Prime Minister, Rui Maria de Araújo, and his government to drop all charges against Oki Raimundos and Lourenco Vicente immediately.”

Factual error

The case against the journalists is based on a published report from 10 November 2015, which contained a factual error on a government tendering process.

The outlet apologised, published a correction and right of reply from the prime minister’s office in relation to the story. Despite this, the government has persisted with the prosecution.

Timor Leste’s media law was previously criticised for being “repressive” and “draconian” when it was passed in 2014.

Sign the petition here.

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