URGENT CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: Defend Human Rights Defenders! Stop Persecution of Filipino Activists!

Warm greetings of solidarity from the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) Philippines!

We are seeking your support to denounce the continuing persecution of Filipino social and political activists and human rights defenders.

A total of 72 persons in Southern Tagalog, Philippines, mostly leaders and members of people’s organizations, are unfairly accused of multiple murder and frustrated murder. Since October 23, 2008, six of the 72 have already been arrested and detained: labor lawyer Remigio Saladero; bedridden peasant leader Rogelio Galit, who is seriously afflicted with diabetes; Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) party-list local organizer Nestor San Jose and Bayan Muna (People First) party-list local organizer Crispin Zapanta; labor union organizer Arnaldo Seminiano, and labor NGO official Emmanuel Dionida.

The United Nations (UN) Declaration on Human Rights Defenders describes the situation of human rights defenders, to wit: “A great many human rights defenders, in every region of the world, have been subject to violations of their human rights. They have been the target of executions, torture, beatings, arbitrary arrest and detention, death threats, harassment and defamation, as well as restrictions on their freedoms of movement, expression, association and assembly. Defenders have been the victims of false accusations and unfair trial and conviction”.

As the world observes 60 years of the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, we urge you to support our campaign to bear pressure on the Philippine government to stop the wave of unjustified arrests and detention of Filipino activists and human rights defenders.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1) Sign the petition of DEFEND – Southern Tagalog at: http://bayan.ph/petition/

2) Organize protest actions in front of Philippine embassies/consulates on the 3rd of December, International Day for Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, the 10th of December, marking the 60th International Human Rights Day to demand the Philippine government to stop persecution of human rights defenders and all forms of attacks on human rights.

3) Send messages of support and solidarity to the victims and their families through bayan_national@yahoo.com.

4) Send protest letters to the Philippine government addressed to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Sec. Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.
Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
osnd@philonline.com

Sec. Raul M. Gonzalez
Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email sad@doj.gov.ph

Hon. Leila De Lima
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov.ph

*Please cc: bayan_national@yahoo.com.

For more information, please read the Bayan briefer and DEFEND-ST petition against persecution of activists at www.bayan.ph.

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