Two journalists in East Timor are facing a three year sentence in jail simply for doing their jobs. They are due to go to trial Friday, October 7.
Your urgent action is needed!
Please sign and share this petition: https://www.change.<wbr>org/p/timor-leste-prime-<wbr>minister-drop-defamation-<wbr>charges-against-timor-<wbr>journalists
The IFJ have launched a petition demanding an end to this legal harassment and to put Timor Leste’s government, prime minister and judiciary on notice that the world will be watching as they attempt to wrongfully prosecute journalists.
Working together with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the South East Asia Journalists Union network (SEAJU), we are urgently calling on Timor Leste’s Prime Minister, Rui Maria de Araújo, and his government to drop all charges against Oki Raimundos and Lourenco Vicente immediately.
Raimundos and Vicente are facing charges of “slanderous denunciation” for an article written in November 2015 and published in the local Timor Post on Prime Minister Araújo and his role as a Finance Ministry advisor in a state telecommunications tender. The charges stem from an acknowledged error in a 2015 report, which was subsequently followed up and corrected in accordance with article 34 of Timor Leste’s press law, which governs the right of reply for news stories.
The CPJ, Freeom House and the IFJ have advocated strongly for Araújo to drop the criminal complaint against the journalists. In a July 19 letter addressed to the premier, the organisations described the pending lawsuit as an "attack on press freedom and the right to information in Timor Leste" and that "as a matter of principle criminal prosecutions of journalists cannot be tolerated".
Join the campaign by highlighting the case using the hashtag #freetimorjournalists