News & Updates 17 March 2023

Timor-Leste: AJAR Mourns Sisto dos Santos

Sisto dos Santos, or Maun Sisto as we dearly called him, was a brave activist who dedicated his life to defending the poor and oppressed. The 43-year-old human rights defender passed away in Dili, Timor-Leste, on 17 March 2023.

Sisto dos Santos was the Executive Director of Asosiasaun HAK (Hukum, Hak Asasi dan Keadilan – Law, Human Rights and Justice) in Timor-Leste until his passing. Asosiasaun HAK was established in 1996 by a group of young Timorese and Indonesian activists, with the vision of Timorese society which has prosperity, equality and no discrimination as to human rights, so that we all may have everlasting peace. Under Sisto’s leadership, the organisation continues to greatly contribute to promoting the principles of human rights throughout society and the state institutions of Timor-Leste. He was relentless in the fight for equity, justice, and accountability.

Asia Justice and Rights stands with his family at this moment of loss and deep grief. His human rights legacy and commitment to justice leaves us a great example and he would be sorely missed. We wish Sisto dos Santos’ family and friends, courage, and peace during this time of mourning.

In his name, a luta continua.