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Cablegate: President's Unga Human Rights Roundtable: Timor-Leste

VZCZCXRO6244
OO RUEHCHI RUEHHM
DE RUEHDT #0318/01 2560824
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130824Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3709
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK NY IMMEDIATE
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 3100

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DILI 000318

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR G, DRL/SEA, EAP/MTS AND NSC/DEMOC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL KDEM TT
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT'S UNGA HUMAN RIGHTS ROUNDTABLE: TIMOR-LESTE

REF: STATE 125456

DILI 00000318 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Timor-Leste is a newly emerging democracy, independent
since 2002. Its new government, freely elected in June 2007, is
fully committed to safeguarding human rights and promoting
democracy. It is constrained, however, by a lingering culture
of political violence and low capacity on the part of its
judiciary and law enforcement bodies. Most human rights
violations in Timor-Leste result arise from legal impunity
rather than abuses by the national police or military.

2. (U) There are no political dissidents from other countries in
Timor-Leste (reftel para 3).

3. (U) The United States, as well as other international
partners including Australia, Portugal, New Zealand, and Japan,
extends many forms of assistance to Timor-Leste. Through USAID,
the USG supports the following programs aimed at promoting
democracy and human rights:


-- During the 2007 electoral cycle, the International Foundation
for Electoral Systems (IFES) provided techinal support and
training to Timor-Leste's national election authorities. The
International Republican Institute provided training to
political parties, and the National Democratic Institute
provided voter education outreach to civil society.

-- IFES and BELUN, a local organization, are implementing the
Election Violence Education and Resolution project to prevent
and reduce election-related violence and tension in Timor-Leste.

-- International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) assists
victims of torture and their families who suffered during the
24-year occupation by Indonesia. It has supported the
construction of community memorials and non-clinical
psychosocial services for more than 500 survivors. With ICMC
help, partner organizations provide direct services and advocacy
for the protection, rights, and welfare of survivors of torture
from the pre-independence period and current, post-conflict
independent state of Timor-Leste.

-- The Justice Institutions Strengthening Program, implemented
by Management Sciences for Development, strengthens Timor-Leste
justice institutions' capacity in financial, administrative, and
management functions. In its support to the Provedor's Office,
which has a constitutional mandate to promote human rights and
fight corruption, the program focuses on investigation
procedures and anti-corruption, public education on human
rights, good governance and corruption-prevention.

--- The Asia Foundation implements the Access to Justice Program
to improve standards and access to formal and informal dispute
resolution for disadvantaged citizens, to improve women's access
to justice, and to strengthen the legislature's role in legal
reform. The program supports efforts to increase access for
rural citizens to legal information and legal aid, raise
awareness of village councils about their new authorities to
reduce violence against women, and to improve the quality of
informal dispute resolution or mediation.

4. (U) The USG is also supporting development of a strong free
press in Timor-Leste. As part of its outreach program to the
print media, the Embassy's Public Affairs section has supplied
professional resource books to Timorese newspapers. With USAID
support, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is
creating a strong, professional, and sustainable media sector in
Timor-Leste. The program aims to improve the ability of Timorese
journalists to produce and disseminate high quality news and
expand the reach of information products available to all
citizens of Timor-Leste. ICFJ's program also emphasizes the
training of future Timor-Leste journalism trainers and the
improvement of the enabling legal environment within which
Timorese media professionals will be expected to operate once
the nation's media laws and broadcast regulations have been
drafted and ratified by Parliament. ICFJ will also work with its
media partners in business development to enable media outlets
to become financially sustainable in the long-run.

5. (U) This follows a two-and-a-half year USAID grant to
Foundation Hirondelle to support the development of Radio and
Television Timor-Leste (RTTL) as Timor-Leste's independent
public broadcast service. RTTL now provides reliable news and
information and is presently the most listened-to broadcaster in
the country. Training was completed in journalism, program
production, finance, and administration, and the workflow within
RTTL studios was significantly modernized through the purchase
of new equipment.

In addition, the project supported a national audience survey,

DILI 00000318 002.2 OF 002


which provides important benchmark information for RTTL managers
and others in media.
RECTOR

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