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Philippines: Civil society & NGOs call for UN investigation into ‘relentless human rights violations’

"Stop the killings! UN Human Rights Council, investigate the human rights situation in the Philippines!" September 2020

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[...] In the first week of July, the President signed the Anti-Terror Act that is seen as a measure that will aggravate the attacks and vilification of human rights defenders and civil society. The exercise of fundamental freedoms and rights has been compromised, with numerous challenges to press freedom and activists and protesters arrested and detained on flimsy charges. In August, only days apart, peasant leader Randall Echanis and health activist Zara Alvarez were summarily executed in separate incidents, following the killings of relief worker Jory Porquia, peasant leader Nora Apique and urban poor leader Carlito Badion during the COVID-19 lockdown. The lawyer and paralegal volunteer assisting the family of Echanis are now facing police complaints for allegedly obstructing its investigation. Threats of violence, including death threats, against activists and human rights defenders have continued unabated.

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[...] [W]e call on the UN Human Rights Council to exercise its mandate and urgently create an independent and impartial investigative mechanism on the rampant extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines. The Human Rights Council’s action may contribute significantly to deter further human rights violations in the Philippines. Likewise, we also support other initiatives in urging States all over the world to send the message that such level of impunity in the Philippines is unacceptable.

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