Timor-Leste journalist Raimundos Oki charged with breach of ‘legal secrets’ in exposing abuse case

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The Oekusi Post chief editor Raimundos Oki
The Oekusi Post chief editor Raimundos Oki talking to reporters outside the police investigation offices today. Image: The Oekusi Post

The Oekusi Post

Journalist and editor-in-chief Raimundos Oki of Timor-Leste’s online media Oekusipost.com was today accused of “violating legal secrets” related to his reporting about the case of illegal detention and forced virginity testing of about 30 underage girls in Oe-Kusi Ambeno during 2020.

The Dili District Court sentenced a former American missionary to 12 years’ jail in a controversial paedophilia case.

At the same time the government mandated several local police to detain about 30 underage girls from the Topu-Honis shelter for two weeks and to perform forced virginity tests in June 2020 in Oe-Kusi Ambeno.

The test results later were later used in evidence for prosecutors to prosecute former American missionary Richard Daschbach, who was already in prison in Becora-Dili in December 2021.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN human rights agencies, the practice of virginity testing on girls is a violation. However, human rights activists in Timor-Leste are alleged to have kept silent about the case.

Daschbasch is already serving his sentence in Becora-Dili prison, but the victims of forced virginity tests are still awaiting justice.

According to their statement at the Oe-Kusi Ambeno District Court, they had never been sexually abused or raped by anyone but their genitals had been injured when forcibly tested.

Journalist Oki was charged with violating legal secrecy because of his coverage of the Topu-Honis shelter case, including the case of forced virginity testing.

He exercised his right of silence while appearing before the Criminal Investigation Scientific Police (Polícia Científica de Investigação Criminal) office.

Republished with permission.

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