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Rights group to German, Czech gov’ts: Highlight ongoing EJKs in talks with Marcos

March 14, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

MANILA, Philippines — A human rights alliance called on Germany and the Czech Republic to raise concerns about the continuing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during his visits to the Central European nations.

Germany and Czech Republic supported an Iceland-led resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019, expressing concern about alleged human rights violations in the Philippines, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, and persecution of human rights defenders. 

“Since then, the attacks including killings, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrests and persecution of human rights defenders and communities of peasants, indigenous people, workers, youth and women have not relented,” KARAPATAN Secretary General Cristina said Wednesday.

Palabay stressed that the Marcos administration’s continued implementation of the counter-insurgency program and anti-drug operations exacerbates these violations. 

Marcos’ back-to-back trips to Berlin and Prague seek to enhance cooperation on maritime trade and vocational education, and protection of overseas Filipino workers.

KARAPATAN also urged European leaders to discuss the killing of Zara Alvarez, the organization’s paralegal, in August 2020. 

Alvarez led campaigns against alleged human rights violations on Negros island before she was gunned down in Bacolod City. She became the 90th activist and 13th Karapatan human rights worker killed under the regime of former President Rodrigo Duterte. 

KARAPATAN also pointed out that the activities undertaken by the UN Joint Programme, supported by Germany and the Czech Republic, failed to address the need for accountability of perpetrators of human rights violations and an end to these attacks.

“The programme had low and weak baseline indicators, weak policy reform work, no visible substantial results in investigations, prosecutions and convictions of human rights violations perpetrators, and limited meaningful participation of civil society,” the alliance said.

KARAPATAN’s appeal comes in the wake of calls by press freedom advocates to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to discuss the killing of broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega during his meeting with Marcos. 

Marcos concluded on Tuesday his visit to Germany, where he discussed cooperation on renewable energy, upskilling of Filipino workers, and South China Sea with Scholz.

He is set to meet the four constitutional heads of the government of the Czech Republic in Prague. 



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