Philippines in UN list of anti-civil society, activist countries

Published by rudy Date posted on September 24, 2019

by Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) – 24 Sept 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines, whose relations with international bodies have turned sour, has been listed among 48 countries that registered a rising retaliation against civil society groups and human rights defenders who have been cooperating with the United Nations.

The UN Human Rights Office said it has been receiving numerous information on intimidation and reprisals against victims, members of civil society groups and activists in many countries – reflecting a rise in cases globally.

“Some governments seem prepared to go to almost any length to punish people who cooperate with us. This may actually underscore the justice of the victims’ causes,” said Andrew Gilmour, UN assistant secretary-general for human rights.

The report, presented on Thursday to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, revealed that the cases range from activists suffering detention and prison sentences, to acts of intimidation including filming of participants at meetings, including on UN premises, without their consent.

Allegations of intimidation and reprisals against victims, members of civil society and activists in the Philippines were also presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva by delegation from the country.

Aside from Ecuvoice, representatives from the Philippine UPR Watch, Karapatan, Rise Up for Life and for Rights, Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF), Promotion of Church Peoples Response, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and the Ramento Project for Rights Defenders are participating in the rights sessions in Geneva. – With Alexis Romero, Marc Jason Cayabyab

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