Joint statement by APWLD and Karapatan at the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue on Item 5: Report of the Secretary General
45th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council
Oral Intervention by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Delivered by Cristina Palabay



APWLD and Karapatan Philippines welcome the report of the UN Secretary General on the intimidation and reprisals.

We appreciate the Secretary General’s report on the reprisals on Karapatan and myself, as its secretary general and as member of APWLD. Judicial harassment against us, myself included, continues, alongside sexual slurs, rape and death threats which I receive to this day, even as we continue to engage with the Council, the Office of the High Commissioner, Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies.

Our efforts to obtain legal protection the courts have remained unacted upon, and unfortunately, we say that such actions or inaction contributed to the killing of two of our colleagues, Zara Alvarez and Ryan Hubilla, who were supposed to testify on the threats to their lives, security and liberty.

We call on the Council to ensure that defenders diligently documenting, monitoring and reporting rights violations in the Philippines and engaging with the Council be protected from harmful rhetoric and public labelling, including red-tagging, which the High Commissioner said has been extremely dangerous. We are activists and human rights defenders, we are not terrorists. We call on the Council to look deeply into these allegations and reports through independent and impartial monitoring and investigation.

Thank you, Your Excellency.