International

Intl peace, human rights confab opens tomorrow; will send delegates to SONA rally on Monday

More than 250 peace advocates and human rights defenders from 25 countries gather tomorrow as the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) opens at 9 a.m. at the Great Eastern Hotel, Quezon City. The foreign delegates are also attending the People’s SONA on Monday, July 22 to cap the three-day conference and the week-long International Solidarity Mission in the different communities where there are documented human rights abuses.

 Rep. Teddy Casiño, Spokesperson of the ICHRPP contested  the Quezon City LGU’s decision to deny the protesters permit to rally, calling it “throwback Monday” and reminded the Aquino government that the “Marcos dictatorship was won by defying such repressive tactics.”

Ozamiz gang incident shows “salvaging” still a practice among cops, soldiers

The killing of two suspected members of the Ozamiz gang by their police escorts shows Philippine state security forces have not changed their martial law ways, the spokesperson of the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) said today.
 
"The incident has tell tale signs of a rubout,” said Rep. Teddy Casiño, spokesperson for the three-day ICHRPP which is set to open tomorrow, July 19.  
 

Intl solidarity mission investigate rights violations in the Phils; to join People's SONA

“The world is watching. This is a test for the Philippine republic on how to deal with the poor and marginalized and their needs. We are here to show our solidarity and to let you know that you are not alone,” was Rev. Stuart Lyster’s message to the representatives of the remaining 5,500 urban poor residents at the North Triangle who are in constant struggle against government-led enforced eviction and demolition of their shanties. 
 
Rev. Lyster was among the 12 delegates from the US, Canada and Hongkong who joined the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) of peace advocates and human rights defenders  in the National Capital Region (NCR). Other ISM participants from 14 countries are now in a four-day mission in provinces and communities where there are documented human rights violations. Redemptorist priests from the Philippines were also in the NCR mission.    
 

Family of Dutch EJK victim assails Aquino govt rights record; impunity proof of failure of HR


The family of Dutch missionary Willem Geertman who was a victim of extrajudicial killing last year in Angeles City, made strong exception to the statement of European Union (EU) ambassador Guy Ledoux last week lauding the Aquino government's human rights record.
 
Herman Geertman, brother of Willem and spokesperson of the Geertman family, said the EU ambassador's praise of the human rights record of the Aquino government is like rubbing salt to the wound and pain they are suffering with the unresolved killing of his brother.
 

Aquino dashes hope for respect for human rights – Dutch Parliamentarian

A member of the Dutch Parliament representing the Socialist Party of the Netherlands has called for solidarity with Filipinos in their struggle to end human rights violations and impunity.
 
Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party of the Netherlands, the third biggest political party in the Dutch parliament in a strongly-worded statement, said that the extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture cases, illegal arrests and victims of forced evacuations from rural villages that are reported by Karapatan, “show clearly that real change has yet to come.”
 

ICCHRP condemns violent dispersal of stranded-undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia

The International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP) assailed the Aquino government for remaining silent on the Saudi government's crackdown on undocumented OFWs. The ICCHRP is a global network of non-government organizations, community and advocate groups and individuals outside the Philippines who are all concerned with the human rights situation in the Philippines and support campaigns to end rights violations in the Philippines.
 
The ICCHRP also condemned the violent dispersal of about 100 stranded undocumented Filipino workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last July 2 that led to the arrest and torture of at least three leaders of the protesting OFWs who were picked up by the Saudi police, during the violent dispersal.
 

European fact-finding mission to visit Luzon provinces torn by land conflicts and corporate plunder

Several European human rights advocates, including family members of murdered Dutch missionary Willem Geertman, will join an International Solidarity Mission (ISM) to Central Luzon Philippines, from July 14-17, 2013. The mission will visit and gather information in the following: 1) Aurora province, site of a multi-billion dollar economic project that would be displacing hundreds of poor peasant farmers, and where Geertman spent most of his years in the Philippines; 2) Angeles City, where Geertman was murdered, and, 3) Hacienda Luisita, the controversial sugar plantation evading land reform and owned by the family of Philippine president Noynoy Aquino. 

Australian rights defender: Philippines a paradise for the wealthy, purgatory for the rest

“Progress limited, some backsliding: needs to do better, but systemic barriers suggest will not improve,” is how Australian Professor Gill Boehringer, Esq. viewed the three years of the Aquino government.
 
Prof. Boehringer, an expert on contemporary state and corporate abuse of human rights, has written a number of articles on Philippine lawyers, human rights and the Philippine elections and justice system.
 

Int’l lawyers group urges resumption of peace talks, prosecution of rights violators

"The recent statement of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is a much needed boost to the Filipino people’s call to resume the peace talks and to end the culture of impunity in the country," Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of Karapatan, said. Established in 1946, the IADL is an organization of lawyers worldwide, which has a consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 

Civil society strongly condemns the recent Mayor Hashimoto’s remark on the “Comfort Women”

1. Toru HASHIMOTO, the mayor of Osaka and a co-leader of the Japan Restoration Association, a political party with over 50 lawmakers in Parliament, remarked on May 13 that the “comfort women” for the Japanese Army during World War II was “necessary” in maintaining discipline in the army and providing relief for soldiers. “When soldiers are risking their lives by running through storms of bullets, and you want to give these emotionally charged mass of fighters a rest somewhere, everyone understands that a comfort women system was necessary,” he said to reporters. He also claimed that there was no proof that the Japanese authorities had forced women into servitude.

We, the undersigned international and Asian NGOs, as well as NGOs from other region strongly condemn these outrageous comments as an attempt to defend egregious violations of women’s human rights in the name of necessity. 

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