Aniceto Guterres Lopes

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Aniceto Guterres Lopes (born April 16, 1967 in Tapo, Maliana, Bobonaro)[1] is an East Timorese human rights lawyer living in Dili, East Timor.

Early life[edit]

On December 7th, 1975, Lopes and his family fled the country to Builalu, Indonesia to escape from the Indonesian troops that invaded East Timor.[2] Upon their return to East Timor a year later, the Lopes family discovered their village of Tapo was destroyed, and moved to Maliana.[1]

Education[edit]

In 1985, Lopes studied law at the Udayana University in Bali,[3] after obtaining a scholarship from the governor of East Timor.[1]

Politics[edit]

While studying in Indonesia, Lopes joined the National Resistance of East Timorese Students (RENETIL) in 1989. Lopes was in charge of relaying political information to and from East Timor and other parts of the world.[3]

Career[edit]

After moving back to East Timor in 1991, Lopes worked for a NGO in Dili.[4]

From 1992 to 1996, Lopes served as the secretary general of the East Timor Agriculture and Development Foundation (ETADEF).[5]

Lopes began his law practice in 1996 by starting a law firm in East Timor where he represented clients in cases where human rights were violated.[4]

Yayasan Hukum[edit]

Lopes co-founded the Human Rights and Justice Foundation (Yayasan Hukum, Hak Asasi dan Keadilan) in 1997, when East Timor was still ruled by Indonesian armed forces. The Yayasan Hukum offers legal services to human rights victims,[3] and records violations of human rights.[2] Lopes led the Yayasan Hukum from 1997 to 2002.[6]

United Nations[edit]

At a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 1999, Lopes spoke about the problems he and other East Timoreses were encountering during Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.[2] Lopes explained that Indonesian supported militia destroyed his home and office in September 1999. Lopes mentioned that he had also been receiving death threats because of his position as a human rights lawyer.[2]

Lopes was also swore in as a member of the UNTATET's Transitional Judicial Service Commission in 2002.[7] The UNTATET created the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor in 2002 and elected Lopes as its chair.[5]

The commission lasted until 2005 and looked into cases of human rights abuse that occurred during the invasion of East Timor.[8]

Accolades[edit]

In 2001, Lopes was named as a fellow of the Ashoka Innovators of the Public.[4] Lopes was also awarded the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay Award of Emergent Leadership, for his courageous stand for justice.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Lopes, Aniceto Guterres Biography". rmaf.org. Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "UN Commission on Human Rights - Special Session on East Timor: Statement by Aniceto Guterres Lopes". reliefweb.nt. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Lopes, Aniceto Guterres Citation". rmaf.org. Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ancieto Guterres Lopes". Ashoka.org. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Commissioners sworn in to lead Reconciliation Body" (Retrieved on February 15, 2008)
  6. ^ "Magsaysay awardee wants to give prize to east timor people". ucanews.com. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Members of judicial service commission swore in". un.org. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Truth Commission: Timor-Leste (East Timor)". usip.org. Retrieved 22 November 2015.