Home News Int’l groups express concern over Philippine rights situation

Int’l groups express concern over Philippine rights situation

The groups noted the spate of killings, "judicial harassment, arbitrary arrests and detention and threats" on human rights defenders

More than a hundred organizations and individuals from around the world have expressed “profound and urgent concern” over the human rights situation in the Philippines.

In a letter sent to the country’s justice officials on June 7, the groups noted the spate of killings, “judicial harassment, arbitrary arrests and detention and threats” on human rights defenders.

The groups called on the Philippines’s Chief Justice and Justice Secretary to “review and revise rules on the service of search warrants and issuances of arrest warrants against human rights defenders.”

They said these are “routinely used to judicially harass and arbitrarily detain” rights activists.”



Among the groups who signed the letter are the Asian Human Rights Commission, Civicus, the World Organisation Against Torture and the International Federation for Human Rights, Front Line Defenders, and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

The International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, Just Associates, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, MADRE, Action Network Human Rights Philippines, and Action Solidarité Tiers Monde also signed the letter.

The groups cited the killings and arrests of activists during the so-called Bloody Sunday incidents on March 7, 2021, when nine activist were killed and six others were arrested in a police raid.

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The groups also expressed concern over the harassment of lawyers assisting petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the harassment and trumped up charges against rights group Karapatan, and the red-tagging of “community pantry” organizers.

The letter was sent after several Philippine-based groups submitted recommendations and reported cases to the Supreme Court on May 17, 2021, following the March 2021 statement of the Supreme Court on the attacks against lawyers and judges.

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