Saturday, 27 December 2014

Mediation needed in Timor media law - PFF


Harsh media law threatens East Timor’s democracy

Timor-Leste President Taur Matan Ruak ... media law rejected by Court of Appeal. again. Photo / IFEX


Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Saturday 21st December 2014

Government in Timor-Leste should seek mediation on the country's controversial media law, says the Pacific Freedom Forum.

A Court of Appeal rejected the law a second time as unconstitutional earlier this month.

"Authorities in Dili ignored concerns from international media, and human rights organisations, about the media law," says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.

"Now they have had those concerns confirmed, again, by the country's highest court."

The law had been rejected by the supreme court earlier.

However, government sacked all foreign judges and officers after a resolution in parliament called for an "audit" of the court system.

When the appeal court president declared the sackings illegal, the government ordered their deportation within 48 hours.

PFF co-Chair Monica Miller said the latest court decision, by local judges, shows that Timor-Leste retains a strong desire for rule of law, despite deportation of foreign judiciary.

"Government officials in Timor-Leste may want to look into regional trends towards formal mediation to resolve conflict over the media law."

"Strong differences over the media law also show the need for an independent regional voice on media issues."

PFF is campaigning for a Pacific media ombudsman to back up national self-regulation, handle complaints and hear media freedom concerns.

PFF also notes that Timor Lest is a signatory to the ADB / OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative

for Asia and the Pacific, which specifically refers to media freedoms.


Court of Appeal again declares media law unconstitutional

ETAN statement on Rule of Law in Timor-Leste

Original article (in Tetum):

Dala round tan, Law KOMSOS Court Deklara Inkonstitusional, PN La Simu, Judge Internasional Asina Akordaun

Earlier articles:

Victims' rights and independence of judiciary threatened by arbitrary removal of judicial officers

ADB / OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific

La'o Hamutuk appeals to president to veto new media law

East Timor passes tough laws to muzzle media

RSF 'information hero' fights new media law

Timor journalists fight repressive new media laws

Tough Filipino media cyber law echoed in Pacific

E-libel laws the new front line in Pacific battle for press freedom


Veto the new media law, says PFF

Pacific Freedom Forum petitions against unconstitutional defamation case


PFF Chair Titi Gabi | Freelance Journalist | Papua New Guinea Mail: PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea | Mob: (675) 7314 3929 | Email:

PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 | Email:

The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.

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