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Calls for police to provide protection for LGBT communities

Dili Weekly - May 11, 2016

Venidora Oliveira Members of the national police force (PNTL) are receiving training to help them better protect and recognize the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities across the country.

The Human Rights and Justice Ombudsman (PDHJ), Silverio Pinto, said they were working with the Coalition for Diversity and Action (CODIVA) to raise awareness among PNTL officers of LGBT issues and help prevent discrimination. "We have begun to introduce the topic on LGBT issues to police members," he said in Dili.

He said members of the LGBT community deserved the same rights as others and should not be discriminated against due to their sexual orientation. He also said it was acceptable for members of the LGBT community to dress as they chose in public as long as they were not violating any laws.

Meanwhile, Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Executive Director Luis Oliveira Sampaio said human rights were clearly defined and should not be compromised based on gender or sexual orientation.

He said better awareness was needed not just in the PNTL, but also among communities, as often the family was the first to marginalize a LGBT person.

He said videos mocking the LGBT community also continued to be posted online, which he categorized as humiliation. "Those words and actions hurt them," he said. As part of a modern society, Sampaio called on the State to accept change and move with the times.

Dili resident Maria Gama said all people should have the same rights, including the LGBT community, as long as they weren't breaking any laws. "They have the same rights even if their sexual orientation is different," she said.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/capital/13718-calls-for-police-to-provide-protection-for-lgbt-communities.

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