(From TIME.com, August 8, 2019)
“An American human rights volunteer is reportedly in critical condition after he was shot four times in the Philippines.
Brandon Lee, 37, was attacked outside his home in Ifugao province in the northern Philippines on Tuesday after he was called an “enemy of the state” on social media, reports the Guardian.
Lee suffered cardiac arrest during a surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his jaw.
Lee is a volunteer for Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM), a farmers’ group that actively opposes a hydropower project and the military presence in the Cordillera region, according to the Guardian. In 2008, an IPM staff member was killed in a similar attack.
Lee and other IPM staff had were labeled “enemy of the state” in posters that were put up around the province.
Another rights group, the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, where Lee also volunteers, blamed authorities for the attack.
“We hold accountable the state security forces that the Duterte administration has let loose in the Cordillera region,” the group said in a statement, according to the Guardian. The group also said that Lee had been receiving threats before the attack.”
Read the statement of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance here.
Three years into the Philippine government’s “war on drugs,” extrajudicial executions at the hands of the police and their associates continue. The vast majority of those who have been targeted are poor and marginalised people. Amid constant incitement from the highest levels of government and rampant impunity, only one unlawful killing, that of a 17 year old, has resulted in the prosecution and conviction of police officers. The international community must push for an independent investigation to put an end to these crimes and provide justice and reparations for countless families and victims. Read the full report here.
On 22 April, Cristina Palabay of Philippines-based human rights alliance Karapatan received a text message from an unidentified person, sent to her personal number, warning her and several other individuals that they are targeted to be killed this year. Amid the threats against Palabay, on 30 May the Supreme Court directed the government to give access to information of Palabay and other human rights defenders in hope to protect their right to life, liberty and security. Take Action here.
Maria Ressa, human rights defender and executive editor of online news outlet Rappler, was arrested again on 29 March for allegedly violating the Philippines’ Anti-Dummy Law, which punishes Filipinos who allow their names or citizenship to be used to evade laws on the nationalization of certain rights, franchises or privileges. Ressa was released several hours later after posting bail of PhP90,000 (approx. USD1,700); this was the second time she has been arrested in a matter of weeks. Read the full report here. Take Action here.
Amnesty International remains deeply concerned by the continued detention of prisoner of conscience Senator Leila de Lima on politically motivated charges, based on unsubstantiated statements of people convicted for drug-related offenses. Amnesty International considers the targeting of Senator de Lima by the authorities as a blatant attempt to silence one of the most prominent critics of the violent ‘war on drugs’ and bar her from participating in public life. Read the report here. Take Action here.
President Duterte’s call to revive the death penalty during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) will only worsen the country’s climate of impunity amid the government’s deadly anti-drugs campaign, Amnesty International said today.
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future movement of school-children have been honored with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2019, the human rights organization announced today. “The Ambassador of Conscience Award is Amnesty International’s highest honor, celebrating people who have shown unique leadership and courage in standing up for human …
Responding to the arrest warrant served to Maria Ressa at the Rappler offices today on charges of ‘cyber libel’, Amnesty International Philippines Section Director, Butch Olano, said: “Just days after the National Bureau of Investigation announced that it will indict Maria Ressa for cyber libel, a warrant for her arrest was served today. Amnesty International …
Responding to news that the Philippine Department of Justice has recommended ‘cyber libel’ charges against Maria Ressa, the editor of news outlet Rappler, together with one of its former reporters, Amnesty International’s Philippines Section Director, Butch Olano, said: “The latest harassment of Maria Ressa and her team comes as no surprise. Rappler’s fearless journalism has consistently …
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte today attacked critics of his deadly ‘war on drugs,’ telling human rights activists: “your concern is human rights, mine is human lives” and promising the continuation of a “relentless and chilling” campaign. In response, Rachel Chhoa Howard, Amnesty International’s Philippines Researcher, said: “Thousands of people in the Philippines have died as a …
Wikipedia enthusiasts from around the world are joining forces on 19 and 20 May 2018 to take part in a global edit-a-thon to shine a spotlight on extraordinary unsung women human rights defenders who have devoted their lives to fighting injustice. BRAVE:Edit, a collaboration between Amnesty International and Wikimedia (Wikipedia’s non-profit organization), will see hundreds …
Responding to the news that President Duterte has ordered the police to resume their role in supporting his administration’s so-called “war on drugs,” James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:
Reacting to the news that the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte is again considering expanding the role of the police in his administration’s “war on drugs”, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said the following
Civilians on the island of Mindanao paid a high price with dozens killed and widespread destruction of homes and property amid the ‘battle of Marawi’ that pitted the Philippine military against militants allied to the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) between May and October this year, Amnesty International said in a report today.
As Donald Trump prepares to meet leaders at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila on November 12 and 13, Amnesty International is urging him to condemn President Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs,” and push him to investigate the unlawful killing of thousands around the country.