Rights groups in Hong Kong, Belgium stage protests vs Duterte’s fake terror list

In a show of solidarity with Filipino activists against the Duterte government’s attacks and political persecution of human rights defenders, human rights and people’s organizations in Hong Kong and Belgium staged symbolic actions to condemn Duterte’s fake terror list. “These acts of solidarity remind us that Filipinos and even foreigners in different parts of the world will stand together during these repressive and challenging times. It reminds us that the cause of people’s rights and protection for those who courageously advocate for it is of global importance,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

 

(Photo: Various groups and individuals gather in Brussels, Belgium to protest the PH government's fake "terror list" and call for an end to the criminalization of activists and rights defenders)

 

 

(Photo: Human rights groups gather at the PH General Consulate in Hong Kong to protest the PH government's fake "terror list" , calls for an end to the criminalization of activists and rights defenders) 

On March 21, 2018, around 50 people, both Filipinos and Belgians alike, held a solidarity action organized by Quinoa asbl, Intal Globalize Solidarity, G3W Geneeskunde voor de Derde Wereld, M3M Médecine pour le Tiers Monde, the Ugnayang Pilipino sa Belgium, and Samasama (ACV Steungroep Filippijnen) outside the Philippine Consulate office in Brussels, Belgium. The organizations denounced Duterte’s fake terror listing and reiterated that “activism is not terrorism.” The groups also called for the end to the criminalization of human rights defenders.

On the same day, groups in Hong Kong also held a similar protest at the office of the Philippine Consulate General, slamming Duterte’s crackdown against Filipino activists. The protesters included human rights groups, labor organizations, and local political parties. After the protest action, a dialogue was held at the consulate where groups presented a statement that was signed by over 35 groups and individuals, pro-democracy legislators, and activists in Hong Kong.

Among the signatories were incumbent legislators Fernando Cheung and Au Nok-Hin, former parliamentarian Leung Kwok-Hung and LSD party chairman Avery Ng.

Jackie Hung, convener of HK campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines or HKCAHRPP, called the Duterte regime’s terror list a “sham”, adding that named individuals included critics of the Duterte government’s war on drugs, martial law, among other tyrannical and repressive policies.

The groups also condemned the inclusion of John and Jane Does in the fake terror list, as well as the passage of other repressive laws such as the enactment of the bill which grants the police power to issue subpoenas. “With the police able to issue subpoenas now, the delicate checks and balances of the system are destroyed. Anyone can be picked up by the authorities and jailed, or killed,” said Ma Wan-Ki, Deputy Secretary General of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).

United Nations experts, numerous international organizations and individuals have expressed support for Filipino activists in Duterte’s fake terror list. Their statements can be found here: http://karapatan.org/UN-Bodies-and-international-orgs-decry-duterte-gov-fake-terrorist-list

“Though we face different forms of attacks, we are bound together by the struggle for a just and humane society. We are grateful for human rights groups, individuals, and various organizations who have expressed their support and have fearlessly condemned the Duterte government for its incessant persecution against human rights defenders,” concluded Palabay.