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16 Aug 2021

ACI Participa, Amnesty International, Comité Cerezo México, Somos Defensores, FIDH, Front Line Defenders, Global Witness, Justiça Global, KARAPATAN, Red TDT, OMCT

Philippines: Eleven organisations urge to end unlawful killings of human rights defenders as land & environmental activists are increasingly targeted for opposing industrial projects

'Solidarity statement – “Stop the killings of human rights defenders in the Philippines”', 10 August 2021

We, the undersigned civil society organisations and partners in the HRD Memorial network, wish to express our ongoing concern about the persistent killings of human rights defenders (HRDs) and impunity for perpetrators in the Philippines.

The HRD Memorial gathered and verified information on the killings of 25 human rights defenders in 2020 in the Philippines. In the first 6 months of 2021 alone, 15 HRDs have been killed in the country. Each of these 40 killings in the 18-month period from January 2020 to June 2021 is abhorrent, and the trend is particularly worrying because these killings have taken place with absolute impunity...

Land and environmental rights defenders and defenders from indigenous communities face very serious risks in the Philippines as they attempt to peacefully defend their land and oppose major industrial projects. These HRDs are disproportionately represented in the figures of the HRDs killed in the past 18 months. On 30 December 2020, indigenous rights defender Roy Giganto was among nine farmers and HRDs killed in a massacre that took place in various villages on Panay Island in a coordinated police and military operation. Before the massacre, these leaders had been “red-tagged” ... they were all leaders of the Tumanduk organisation, an alliance of indigenous people’s communities ... they had been actively opposing and delaying progress on the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Mega Dam, a joint project of the Philippine and South Korean governments that is feared to lead to the displacement of at least 17,000 indigenous Tumandok...

Part of the following timelines

Philippines: Civil society condemns Panay massacre of Indigenous leaders resisting Jalaur Mega Dam; bank financing the dam responds

Philippines: 9 trade unionists & HRDs killed and 4 arrested in 'Bloody Sunday' raids, rights groups call for accountability