Sunday, July 26, 2009

Private Practice: Beat Your Wife in 2001. Make a Killing in 2009.

There has been much talk of Domestic Violence in Timor-Leste.

The man once tipped to be Minister of Health might have once done some bad things to his wife in 2001.

But since it seems to have made alot of money in private practise and owns one of Dili's most succcessful Apoteks - Foho Osan Mean. Even has a flash website - Click Here. No wonder Timorese women have little faith in the system.

But in 2001 he was the subject of very considerable civil society complaints.

This account is very ugly.


Subject: Dr. Sergio Lobo detained

The following press release (below in English and Indonesian) came out this morning from the NGO Forum and Rede Feto (the Women's Network). This afternoon, there was a preliminary hearing on the case at which the Investigative Judge decided that Dr. Lobo will remain in detention until his trial for the protection of his wife, the victim in the case, and because there is a risk that he will leave the country. The judge also refused repeated requests from Dr. Lobo and his lawyers to hear directly from their four children (ranging from age 7 to 14) who were present in the courtroom. The children have been in the care of Dr. Lobo and his family since February. There were many people present at the public hearing, including press and local and international monitors.

La'o Hamutuk

Press Release 12 July 2001

Public Figure Detained Again for Domestic Violence

On 10 July 2001, Dr. Sergio Lobo, former Chairman of the Department of Health for ETTA (East Timor Transitional Authority), was detained in Dili for physically assaulting his wife. This detention follows a detention in February 2001 on the same charges. The court is expected to set a trial date for the criminal case against Dr. Lobo sometime in

The NGO Forum,the East Timor Women s Network and the newly formed Judicial System Monitoring Program will be monitoring the case closely. These groups are concerned that the justice system should treat all cases of domestic violence equally seriously and should not demonstrate preferential treatment to accused persons in positions of

This case will set a precedent for future cases of domestic violence and for any cases that involve a high-level official, said Filomena Reis, Advocacy Officer for the East Timor NGO Forum. Our legal system
must treat all people equally.

Civil society groups were stunned when Dr. Lobo was given unconditional release by the court after his arrest in February. Even independent legal observers find the failure of detention of the accused surprising. The case is an important test of the new judicial system of East Timor, said Christian Ranheim, a Norwegian lawyer from
the Judicial System Monitoring Program. We are at the moment looking at pre-trial conditions, including the release of the accused.

In February 2001, Dr. Sergio Lobo was accused of beating his wife with a stick and injecting a sedative into her arm with a syringe he had brought for this purpose. On 9 July 2001, Dr. Lobo was accused of assaulting his wife again at the Hotel Audian. The victim in the case describes a history of severe physical and emotional violence that spans her 15 years of marriage to Dr. Lobo.

Contact Persons:

· Filomena Reis, East Timor NGO Forum (0407-015-968)

· Laura Abrantes, Rede Feto/East Timor Women s Network (0418-840-127)


JSMP Comments to the Sergio Lobo interlocutory appeal.