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[16days_discussion] Fwd: Killings of activists must end in the Philippines: CIVICUS and Karapatan

radha paudel rpaudel456 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 22:34:17 EDT 2012


Deep condolence and express my commitment to fight against such terrific
situation against WHRDs,
Globally, we have to unite and work for the human right of  human right
defenders
With solidarity,
radha

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mary Jane Real <whrd at apwld.org>
Date: 16 August 2012 01:02
Subject: Killings of activists must end in the Philippines: CIVICUS and
Karapatan
To: friends-of-whrd-ic at googlegroups.com


*Killings of activists must end in the Philippines: CIVICUS and Karapatan *

*Johannesburg, 30 July 2012*: Global civil society network CIVICUS: World
Alliance for Citizen Participation and the Philippine-based national human
rights organisation, Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s
Rights, urge the Philippines government to end persecution and
extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders, and to carry out fair and
independent investigations into all cases of extrajudicial killings and
disappearances.
President Benigno Aquino III has promised to “resolve cases of
extrajudicial executions and other violations of human rights.”
Nevertheless, genuine reform to ensure the protection of civil society
members continues to be lacking. The government continues to implement
Executive Order 546, which allows the use of paramilitary forces and
private militias to spearhead its controversial counter-insurgency
programme, Oplan Bayanihan.

According to Karapatan, 99 instances of extrajudicial killing and 11 cases
of enforced disappearance have been documented since President Aquino
assumed office in June 2010. The majority of the victims have been farmers,
indigenous peoples and activists advocating for land rights and
environmental protection. Additionally, it is reported that at least 385
political prisoners continue to languish in prisons as a result of
exercising the key civil society freedoms - freedom of expression,
association and assembly.

“The rate at which human rights defenders are being killed in the
Philippines is shocking,” says Mandeep Tiwana, Policy and Advocacy Manager
at CIVICUS. “If the government is serious about its stated commitment to
end rights violations, then it must withdraw the state of impunity that
exists for military officials and members of government sponsored militias.”

Recently two prominent civil society activists were assassinated and an
advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights was detained, further raising
concerns about the ability of civil society to operate in the Philippines.
On 3 July 2012, Willem Geertman, Executive Director of CSO Alay Bayan-Luzon
Inc., a citizen’s disaster response group in Central Luzon, was murdered in
his office compound. Days earlier, on 30 June, Romualdo Palispis, chair of
the human rights organisation Justice and Peace Action Group in Aurora, was
gunned down in front of his home. Both men were leaders in the campaign
against corporate mining and logging and were actively engaged in
mobilising opposition to the development of Aurora Province as a designated
economic zone. On 4 July, Agnes Mesina, a volunteer for the Rural
Missionaries of the Philippines Cagayan, was arrested during a meeting with
a congressman. She is actively involved in campaigns against large-scale
mining.

CIVICUS and Karapatan urge the Philippines government to uphold its
commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
by: (i) ensuring thorough and independent investigation and fair
prosecution of cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances;
(ii) enacting legislation criminalising involuntary disappearances as a
distinct crime and ratifying the UN Convention for the Protection of All
Persons against Enforced Disappearance; (iii) issuing executive orders to
security forces and government sponsored militia groups to allow safe
exercise of the freedoms of association, expression and assembly by
citizens.

The statement may also be viewed via this URL:
https://civicus.org/en/media-centre/press-releases/1007-killings-of-activists-must-end-in-the-philippines-civicus-and-karapatan-

****

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-- 
Radha Paudel
Founder/President
*Action Works Nepa*l
email: rpaudel456 at gmail.com
          actionworksnepal.awon10 at gmail.com
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