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.
“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.”
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.