Commander Lere’s son, along with four F-FDTL soldiers, went to a bar and beat up people for no reason. (Timor Post 6.9.2012) This incident is the latest in a series of brutality incidents by members of the police and military. It is a traumatic series of events that will lead to increased violence against the police, the military, and security institutions. It begins with brutality, like this, happening in the present.
The son, as the son of the Commander of the F-FDTL, also mentioned big names in an attempt to threaten people at the bar. People should never use the names of state leaders to threaten ordinary people even though the state leaders may be their relative. If sons or daughter continue using names of state leaders, it is not the rule of law working, it is the rule of deals working. Bringing up the names of state leaders keeps the conflict alive longer. It becomes a ticking time bomb for future explosions.
People will not respect or have confidence in security institutions if these incidents of brutality keep occurring. When people lose respect for security institutions, there will be resistance against the police and military.
The government and international organizations have invested a lot of money in the capacity-building and training of these security institutions. The results of the training are not winning the people’s confidence. Why does so much money not have the desired or expected results? Why do we not have the discipline to apply these lessons in our security institutions?
Fundasaun Mahein (FM) is concerned by these events. FM would like stricter oversight and auditing of the police and military. FM asks the training institutes to focus more on training with an emphasis on non-lethal methods of crowd control. FM recommends Parliament Committee B to function fully as a civilian oversight commission that can receive and respond aggressively to public complaints. Finally, FM would like to bring the perpetrators of police or military brutality incidents to criminal court rather than to internal disciplinary proceedings.