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Cablegate: Child of Timor Leste Permrep Reports Abuse

VZCZCXRO0466
PP RUEHDT
DE RUCNDT #0341 1022216
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 112216Z APR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4106
INFO RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI PRIORITY 0954

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000341

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR IO/UNP - S.EDMONDSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP UN TT PREL
SUBJECT: CHILD OF TIMOR LESTE PERMREP REPORTS ABUSE

1. On April 8, 2008, the school teacher of the six year-old
son of Timor Leste's PermRep, HE Ambassador Nelson Santos,
noticed marks indicating abuse. In response to the teacher's
inquiries about the marks, the child stated his father had
hit him with a belt. The teacher reported this to the New
York Administration of Children's Services (ACS). The child
was taken by ACS for a medical examination and was held at
the hospital most of the night until being released back to
his father's custody at approximately 4:00 a.m., on condition
that the PermRep agree to have a meeting on April 9, 2008
with ACS representatives, the NYC Commission for the UN, and
USUN officials.

2. The meeting took place at the offices of the NY
Commission. When questioned by ACS about the abuse, the
PermRep responded that he deeply regrets hitting his son,
acknowledged that he had gone "overboard" with his
discipline, and states that his own expectations of his son
and his priorities need to be modified. He explained that
his son has been experiencing behavior problems and has been
without his mother, who is still living in Timor Leste, for
some time. The PermRep admits he became very frustrated and
slapped the child with a folded belt. He reports feeling
great remorse and shame, and offers his assurances that he
would never take such action again, not because of the law,
but because "it is a shameful act." The PermRep agreed to,
and even requested, all services offered by ACS, including
counseling and/or anger management, as well as evaluation and
counseling for his son. He also agreed to bi-weekly home
visits by ACS, both announced and unannounced. He further
states that his wife plans to come to the U.S. to stay
permanently with the family, and he expects this to have a
positive effect. ACS is currently formulating a treatment
plan.

3. The NYC Deputy Commissioner stated that the NYPD has
charged Ambassador Santos with second degree felony assault
of his son, but the charges are being held in abeyance for
now. The case has not been referred to the prosecutors, but
the City left such a possibilty open in the unlikely event
that the PermRep was found not to be cooperating or if abuse
were to recur.
Khalilzad

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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