Celestina Soares – The Second Police Commander from Dili municipality, Superintendent Assistant Euclidis Belo said the National Police Forces of Timor-Leste PNTL will take strong measures against perpetrators of sexual harassment against women in public spaces and on public streets.
He urges everyone to report any instance of men harassing women in public to the police. "Especially the women in Dili, if you see a man committing sexual harassment in public spaces you should report it to the police so we can act," he said.
As a Catholic country, he said this action has against the moral that cannot be tolerated. "It may be a kind of disease so the [perpetrator] can go and get checked at the hospital, but this behavior will not be tolerated," he added.
"Therefore, we ask coordination, collaboration with the authorities. Report it to the police so we can act based on the regulation and articles written in the penal code."
He said a few weeks ago, they managed to capture a man who allegedly committed sexual harassment to women in public spaces.
"We captured [him] and are conducting the investigation in coordination with the Ministry of Public Prosecution to determine whether his actions were against the penal code or not," he said.
However, he said it is important to act according to the law and allow for an investigation to take place before handing over the case to the Ministry of Public Prosecutions.
Student Ervina do Carmo said it is well known that men show uneducated actions towards women in public spaces. "It scares us as women," she said.
She said it always happens and many women are the victims of these actions. "We ask the PNTL to seek out these people."