Bangkok, February 29, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on East Timor's prime minister, Rui Maria de Araujo, to drop the criminal defamation complaint he is pursuing against freelance journalist Raimundos Oki. Oki faces up to three years in prison if convicted of defamation for a report for the Timor Post newspaper alleging possible irregularities in a government computerization project, according to press reports.
Suara Timor Lorosa'e
On August 4, amid rising political tensions surrounding the formation of a new government, unidentified men attacked the office of the country's leading daily, Suara Timor Lorosa'e (STL), according to the Bangkok-based Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA).
Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists urges you to refrain from signing a bill before you that threatens freedom of the press and free expression by imposing harsh penalties for defamation. As you know, Prime Minister Mari bim Altakiri approved on December 6, 2005, a bill revising the penal code, which had been passed by the National Parliament. The penal code revisions now before you allow for up to three years imprisonment and unlimited fines for publishing statements deemed defamatory of public officials.
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